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THE BUTLER'S STORY 




Have you 2Ci\y peanuis tor the sivans?'''' he says 



QCXS^^ — c"^*<:><:>d> 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Being the Reflections, Observations, and Experiences 
of Mr. Peter Ridges, of Wapping-on-Velly, Devon, 
Sometime in the Service of Samuel Carter, Esquire, 
of NewYoric. Written by Himself and Edited 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

AND 

AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 
BY 

ARTHUR TRAIN 



NEW YORK 
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



Copyright, 1909, 1912, by 
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



Printed m the United States of America 




^0 

MR. AMOS 



M89172 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

THE CARTER FAMILY 1 

I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 23 

ON SERVANTS IN GENERAL 45 

GETTING IN ON ''THE GROUND FLOOR" . . 60 

ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 82 

I TURN DETECTIVE 103 

REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 126 

THE DELUGE 145 

SAFE AT ANCHOR 167 

THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 177 

AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO . . .222 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

"Have you any peanuts ior the swans?" he 

says Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

So Mr. Tom grinds his teeth and shakes his fist and 

yells 60 

My eye ! But I nearly dropped, I was that astonished 100 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 



THE CARTER FAMILY 



It is fifteen years and over since Lord Craven called 
me into his study after luncheon and says, " 'Ears have 
they but they hear not, eyes have they but they see 
not, tongues have they but they speak not/ Do you 
know to wot that refers. Ridges?" "No, my lord," 
says I. "To men servants," says he, "and particular 
to butlers," looking at me very hard. "Very good, my 
lord," says I. "That is all," says he. "Thank you, 
my lord," says I, and I left his presence, and up to 
this time have neither seen, heard, nor spoke, saving of 
those things a butler should, for he was a wise man 
if a hard drinker, and I was heartbroke to leave his 
service on account of the bankruptcy, although he paid 
us all off private before he was posted. 

That was how I came to leave England hoping that 
I might run across him again, although he was going 
into the cattle business, and perhaps enter his service. 

I 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

But he had gone to Manitoba, and once in America I 
soon learned that only in New York could I hope to 
secure a situation such as I was used to. Yet I do not 
believe that my old master's injunction would lead 
him to include writing down in a notebook the things 
one's descendants might care to read, and indeed the 
life of a man servant is so silent that only in some such 
way can he retain the power of speech. For at the age 
of forty-one I feel less at ease with my ekals than of 
yore and awkward and boorish. This perhaps is one 
of the disadvantages of a life in service. But in the 
silence of my own bedroom I can take my pen in 
hand and am often astonished at how easy I can 
write. 

To be sure I have read a great deal, but I fancy it 
is more because my father told me that in Devon his 
grandfather was a learned man who could both read 
and write and who desired to send his son, my father's 
father, to a publick school, being a freeholder, but 
hard times coming forced him to sell his farm and 
my grandfather entered the army and my father went 
into service. So from now on I am going to keep a 
record of such things as strike my fancy or impress 
me as thoughts worth preserving, for even a man in 
service may profit by wot he sees and have a philosophy 
of Hfe. 

Besides, if I did not employ my time in some such 
way it would hang heavy on my hands, for I have 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

made but few friends here, and even at The Yellow- 
plush, which is a club composed of the hupper men 
servants from the most exclusive New York families, 
I find little to interest me. Instead of having a church- 
warden and a quiet bottle of stout over a hand at 
whist you must keep pouring down whisky straight 
and bragging about how many railroads your master 
owns and how many actresses he knows. 

Moreover, the talk is not all it should be by any 
manner of means, and while such things piay be 
discussed by gentlemen over their wine after dinner 
and allowance made, yet a self-respecting man servant 
should be more particular as to his manner of speech. 

And I have Mr. Amos's authority for this very thing, 
for one night after a dinner at our house when the 
gentlemen had told some stories that beat anything I 
ever heard in the stables, which is bad enough God 
knows, so that I was quite hot under the hair and James 
the second man almost fell through the transom listen- 
ing on the stepladder, Mr. Amos called me over very 
serious and says : 

"Ridges, do you know any stories like that ?" he says. 

"Well, sir," says I, "no offense meant, but I don't 
sir," I says. 

"Fm glad to hear it," says he, very solemn. "If you 
were guilty of making use of such language I could not 
bring myself to come here," he says. "Remember, 
Ridges, we gentlemen pay our servants to he respect- 

3 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

able." Then he turned on his heel and went after the 
others, and I really don't know now exactly wot he 
meant by it at that, for when he is most sadlike you 
will see a twinkle in the comer of his mouth, and 
when he is laughing the most merrily he says the wisest 
and sharpest things. 

After Lord Craven I like him best of all the gentle- 
men I have ever met and I would like to enter his 
service were it not for the fact that he lives in lodgings 
and cannot afford to keep a man. Besides, although 
he does not know it, there is another bond between 
us which is that we are both men of literary tastes, for 
he writes essays and books on philosophy, full of gloom 
and about the evil in the world, and people say that he 
is a pessymist and how it is too bad for one so young 
to be so cynical, although he is the gayest person who 
comes here and is always going out to dinner and 
leading cotillions and bothered to death by the ladies, 
so that Mrs. Carter is anxious to have him at the 
house. 

Wot is more, I think Mr. Amos really likes her and 
he never says a word except in kindness about any of 
them saving Mr. Tom. Mr. and Mrs. Carter is both a 
little afraid of him because he knows everybody even 
more than they do and they are forever asking him 
about the big houses he goes to, but he always puts 
them orf and will not tell them anything. The strangest 
thing of all is, although he goes with all the swellest 

4 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

people, he says and does wotever he likes, and although 
he has the grandest manners, like a duke when he 
wishes, he generally is playing jokes and talking like 
a anarchist. That is one of the queer things about 
these New York people. If anybody does not act and 
talk just so, doing and saying exactly the same thing 
as everybody else, they think he must be vulgar, whereas 
Mr. Amos says it is vulgar to be common, that it is 
common to be ordinary and that it is ordinary to be 
like everybody else. But the minute they get the idea 
that in spite of being different anybody is clever and 
just talks that way to be interesting, he can say and do 
wot he pleases. 

Now Mr. Amos's father was a wealthy cotton man 
whose partner took a lot of their customers' money 
and then shot hisself. Well, the old gentleman, 
although it was not necessary in law, sold everything 
he had and paid over all the money so that he had 
nothing hisself and then he went back on a salary so 
he could send Mr. Amos to college. Everybody thought 
it was a fine thing to do, as it was, if I do say it myself, 
and Mr. Amos is the same kind, for now that his 
father is too old to work he spends every afternoon 
with him and supports him by his writing. I have 
often seen the old gentleman here at dinner, and Miss 
Patricia calls him "Uncle Mo." The way they got 
acquainted was that Mr. Carter was one of the credi- 
tors, and when Mr. Amos's father wanted to pay him 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

back he wouldn't take the money, but the old gentle- 
man made him do it. 

Mr. Amos is the greatest fellow for his joke you 
ever see and I shall never forget the first time I saw 
him. It was at our country place The Beeches (there 
is only one little one, but Mrs. Carter liked the name) 
and there is a long drive which cost a lot of money 
leading up to the house and all lined with busts of 
Roman Emperors and their mistresses. In the middle 
is a sort of marble pool with swans swimming in it 
and rows of little hedges alongside of it. The swans 
look very fine and genteel. Well, as I was saying, we 
were having a house party and up comes a motor with 
a lot of young ladies and Mr. Amos. I and the four 
footmen had come out, as is proper, and was standing 
on the steps to receive the guests. So out jumps Mr. 
Amos — I didn't know him then — very swell looking 
and walks right up to me and says perfectly serious: 

"Have you any peanuts for the swans f" he says. 
Well, James he burst right out laughing, so I says : 
"I beg pardon, sir, but we don't give peanuts to the 
swans. They have patent *Swanfood,' " I says. 

"Poor swans!" he says. "They should have pea- 
nuts," and he went right on in with the young ladies. 
I couldn't make him out. Monday morning when they 
went away, about eight gentlemen left together in a 
motor. Mr. Amos came out last and gave me a five- 
dollar note. The four footmen was all lined up on 

6 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

the steps to see them off. As the motor started along 
Mr. Amos leans out and waves his hand at us and 
calls out: 

**Good-by, boys!" and that was the last I saw of 
him for a long time. 

Our house in New York is on Fifth Avenue and 
one of the finest in the city, having cost, I once heard 
Mr. Carter say, all told, counting furniture, about one 
hundred and fifty thousand pounds, but the place in the 
country where the family spend most of the time cost 
all of three hundred thousand, and, as Mrs. Carter 
says, is the very latest thing in Louis Sixteenth. To 
be entirely honest I have never seen anything like it in 
England, the principal difference being in the bath- 
rooms, which there are none if very few upon the other 
side. In our New York house each bedroom, even the 
smallest, has a bathroom of its own, and on the fourth 
floor it is a fact that the bathrooms is bigger than 
the bedrooms. There are twenty bedrooms in the Fifth 
Avenue house and there are twenty-one bathrooms, 
which takes the entire time of two men to keep clean, 
but we take the same men to the country where there 
are thirty- four bathrooms and they work longer hours. 
The parlor maid, Evelyn Raymond, who wants to be 
a actress and is very witty, calls them "swobbers" from 
the nautical term "to swob." But at Craven Hall it 
was a long way to a bath. On the whole as long as I 
am not obliged to clean them they seem worth having, 

7 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

although the gentlemen and ladies do not look to be 
any cleaner than those I was used to in England. 

I remember a green second man I had once who 
had never seen a bathroom and who used to go into 
one on the guest room floor on his afternoons out and 
read. He said it made him feel rich to have marble 
all around and that he would never have marble on all 
sides again until he was put in a receiving tomb, but 
Mrs. Carter found him in there one day and said she 
would not mind his using it for its proper purposes, 
which would have been a good thing, but that if he 
wanted to read he had better go to the Lenox Library. 
After that I found an excuse to give him the sack, for 
I thought he did not know his place. 

There is certainly an extraordinary number of serv- 
ants employed in our house considering the high wages 
they get. We keep thirty-two in the country and nine- 
teen in town. 

IN THE COUNTRY IN THE CITY 

One butler One butler 

One housekeeper One housekeeper 

One steward One steward 

One chef One chef 

Two assistant chefs One assistant 

Three kitchen maids Two kitchen maids 

Four laundresses Two laundresses 

Four footmen Two footmen 
One pantry maid 

Two parlor maids One parlor maid 

Three valets One valet 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

Two ladies' maids Two ladies' maids 

Four chambermaids Two chambermaids 

Two house men ("The swob- Two house men ("The swob- 

bers") bers" again) 
One baker 

You may imagine wot a crowd it is that sits down 
at the servants' table for meals and it would be orful 
if it were not for the fact that most of the men is 
irregular, dropping on one after the other, and one of 
the kitchen maids is really just a servants' waitress 
and kept busy all the time. Of course the housekeeper 
has her meals in her own room, and the steward 
gets his out, and the chefs have a table of their own 
as in all well-regulated households. Speaking by the 
book I am supposed to eat in the servants' dining room 
but I find it irksome to do so and hardly ever go there, 
getting my meals in the pantry after the family. This 
does not count the chauffeurs, the coachman and 
grooms, and the men who work on the place, but these 
do not eat in the house. I should also mention "Aunty 
Morgan," Master Willie's old nurse, who has nothing 
to do and just lives at the house because there is nothing 
else to do with her. 

I must confess I miss it like it was in dear old Eng- 
land when all the hupper servants had dinner in the 
housekeeper's room with me at the head of the table and 
all the others in order of rank. I can recall some parties 
which was almost as distangay as those at my master's 
board, for the maids always wore low neck and short 

9 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

sleeves otherwise known as day collettey which is the 
invariable custom, and some of them looked like the 
finest ladies. On such occasions our manners was 
quite as good and more formal than hupstairs, for I 
have had (when we had a large house party) a Prin- 
cess's maid on my right and a Duchess's maid on my 
left, and so on down to the salt, all in the loveliest 
clothes imaginable. Once when His Royal Highness 
was with us I had Mr. Hunter, His Royal Highness's 
Third Groom of the Chambers sitting beside me. It 
was a wonderful experience, for he was the most culti- 
vated and distinguished gentleman I ever met. 

And this reminds me that I have not told about the 
family, which I should have done long ago. There are 
six in all, but only five in the house for Mr. Tom has 
his rooms outside, for which God be praised. First 
there is Mr. Carter, who was a stock-broker and is now 
wot they call over here a "promoter." He was in cotton, 
and then he was in oil (which sounds like a specimen), 
and now he is in cotton-oil. You can never tell what 
he will be in next. Mr. Amos says a lot of the oil is 
water (which is a joke), but Mr. Carter does not 
mind and says in private that you can fool some of 
people all the time, but I fancy he does hisself a injus- 
tice because I have heard that the oil he was in was 
standard oil and if so of course it could not have any 
water in it and must be all right. Anyway the Bible 
says oil maketh a cheerful countenance and Mr. Carter 

lO 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

has got the cheerfullest one I ever see, quite red and 
very round, with little twinkling blue eyes. He is not 
very aristocratic looking, but he is more so than a lot 
of baronets I have seen, some of which are a rum lot. 

And that brings me to Mrs. Carter, my mistress, 
of whom I have already spoke by minuendo, and per- 
haps that is the best way to describe her because you 
would not find out wot a really kind-hearted woman 
she is to look at her and see her carrying on in society. 
She is quite stout, not to say fat, with a enormous bust 
and you would laugh to see the houseman carrying her 
body downstairs for the seamstress to try a dress on. 
She is more like my Aunt Jane who lives in Wopping- 
on-Velly in Devon than anybody else I know, although 
I do not think her axcent is as pure as Aunt Jane's. 
Now Mrs. Carter she came from Piqua, Ohier, where 
her father was a chemist or, as they say here, a apothe- 
cary, and when she was first married to Mr. Carter he 
was a very small clerk in cotton and they was both 
by way of being in very umble circumstances. 

Then one day a friend of Mr. Carter's who was 
likewise a clerk invented some way of pressing to- 
gether the bales so they did not take up so much room 
or something in regard to the strings you tie it with, and 
Mr. Carter gave him fifteen dollars for harf of the idea, 
and presently they was granted a monopoly on it and 
before long sold it for ten million dollars. That was 
twenty years ago when Mrs. Carter was only thirty- 

II 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

five and Mr. Tom was fifteen years old and Master 
Willie had not been born yet, and the family all lived 
in Brooklyn with Mr. Carter's mother. Now you would 
not expect Mrs. Carter to act as unto the manner born 
under the circumstances and it is really astonishing 
how well she does and it would be hard for most 
people to tell she was not a lady but only a woman, 
for it is not in the things she does but in those she 
doesn't or is afraid to that you can see the mortar and 
pestle. She has improved something wonderful in the 
ten years in which I have been in her service, in part 
owing to my careful tootilage — a, influence potent if 
unseen. So far as her appearance is concerned her 
maid Eliza has left nothing to be desired, and she 
looks quite a stunner in her Louis XVI costume made 
by Callow, so that if you didn't know her you would 
really be afraid of her as some of the servants are. 
Then there is Mr. Tom, but perhaps the less said 
of him the better for he is a rotter if there ever was 
one and a bad lot altogether, for he was just at the 
wrong age when his father got his money and it 
started him orf bad. He is entirely different from 
any of the others and is quite tall and very dark 
with hollows under his eyes as if he didn't sleep, and 
a waxy sort of look in his face but not bad looking at 
that. He only comes home to the biggest dinners and 
to ask his father for money, and sometimes the lan- 
guage he uses is horrible to think of, but why I dislike 

12 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

him most is the way he makes fun of his mother 
right before the servants, whereas he is not fit to sit 
at the same table with her. 

Miss Harriet Carter is not a bit like him, although 
she is quite disagreeable enough to her parents. She 
is about thirty-two and has been "out" a good deal over 
ten years, but when she was introduced to society Mr. 
and Mrs. Carter's position was not as good as it is 
now and Miss Harriet has never caught up. Of course 
she goes out a lot but I fancy the people who accept 
her father and mother are inclined to go a little shy 
on her, for she is a big girl like a horse and has never 
got over the way of talking she learned at the publick 
school. All of which makes a anomylous situation, 
viz. : Mr. and Mrs. Carter know all the swellest people 
a little and exchange entertainments with them and 
have them at The Beeches and to go cruising on the 
steam yacht, but Mr. Tom and Miss Harriet do not 
know their sons and daughters, except at a distance. 

The difference between them lies right here, that 
Mr. and Mrs. Carter, while they put on more or less 
side, are not ashamed of where they come from or how 
they got their money and simply want to be like other 
rich people and to have a good time, but Mr. Tom and 
Miss Harriet are ashamed of their father and mother, 
which is unfilial and betokens a mean nature. Still 
you cannot blame Miss Harriet so much because she 
has been a sort of odd stick all her life and now she 

13 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

has her own circle of friends who are nearly fashion- 
able but not quite and who do ever3l:hing the swell 
people do only much more so. Miss Harriet is great 
on afternoon tea at Sherry's and Bridge Parties at the 
Waldorf, and you can bet harf a crown she'll have a 
box at every kind of charitable musical show that is 
going. 

Now this is wot I mean. We had a small dinner of 
twenty-eight at our house one evening and a certain 
lady was there from Chicago whose husband had been 
in oil with Mr. Carter. The lady was more like wot 
Mrs. Carter had been fifteen years ago and as she 
was quite rich she thought it would be a good time 
to make an impression on New York. Now it hap- 
pened that it was really Miss Harriet's dinner party 
instead of her mother's and most of her swellest friends 
was present and it was a unfortunate time for the 
Chicago lady to select. So she says very loud: 

"Oh, we had such a charming time in Paris — per- 
fectly lovely," she says, "and we had a most interest- 
ing experience," she says, "we saw Carolus Duran 
ascend several times in his air ship." 

Everybody looked a bit astonished and then one 
of the gentlemen put his hand over his mouth and 
sort of choked and Miss Harriet got very red and 
says: 

"Santos Dumont, you mean, don't you?'* she says. 
And the Chicago lady looked green and says : 

14 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

"Yes, of course, Santos Dumont. How stupid of 
me !" she says. 

Later on when she had recovered herself she got 
a-talking about her house on the Boulevard by the 
Chicago Lake and says : 

"You know my husband and I just went to Eurrup 
and left the architect carte blanche to do everything, 
even to buying the tidies," she says. "We told him that 
wot we wanted was for him to make us, regardless of 
expense, a beautiful home !" she says. 

Well, there was such a stillness that the lady thought 
she had created just the impression she wanted and 
made amends for Carolus Duran, until Miss Harriet 
says very icy: 

"How perfectly delightful to be able to afford such 
a lugsury as to have your architect buy your tidies !" 

Then they all began to talk very fast about how 
the new basso who played the Devil at the Opera didn't 
wear anything but spangles. 

Arfter everybody had gone and James and I was 
taking the flowers out of the drawring-room to send 
to the Children's Hospital Miss Harriet snapped at 
her mother. 

"How could you invite such a vulgar wc«nan to 
the house to meet my friends! I'm humiliated!" she 
says. 

Mrs. Carter just laughed. 

"I thought it was rather funny!" she says. "Poor 

IS 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Fanny!" she says. "She is one of the best women 
in the world." 

But Miss Harriet was hot clear through and she 
says, /' 

"I suppose she is the kind you was brought up with," 
she says. 

And Mrs. Carter's lip sort of trembled and she 
didn't say anything for a minute and then she says: 

*T think you must be tired, dearie. Let's go to bed." 

That is the contradiction in people, for the very 
next day Mrs. Carter would hardly speak civil to the 
man who came to show her a sketch for the new 
mantelpiece. 

When you come down to it there is no particular 
difference that I can see between my mistress and her 
eldest daughter (I do not speak now of Miss Patricia) 
and the women who work for them. In fact there is 
no one of them who is so gentle and well favored as 
Eliza Thomas, my mistress's maid. And not putting 
it down by way of a jest, did not James the second 
man when he was cleaning the parlor window overhear 
a cabby say to my mistress, Mrs. Carter, not being 
able to tell she was not a servant on account of her 
mackintosh (for they are all made alike) : 

"Hello, Maggie, are you out promenayding ?" Which 
is wot Lord Craven used to call a argumentum ad homi- 
num. 

Now there were plenty of Carters on the Devon 

i6 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

side when I was a boy and I have heard my father 
say that one by the name of Carter kept pigs for his 
grandfather. For what is a Carter? He is one who 
carts, just as a Smith is a smith, and a Wheelwright 
is or was a wheelwright. And if it is so in England it 
is a great deal more so in America. 

But when my mistress goes out she would have you 
believe that she was royalty at the very least and so 
would Mrs. Padden and Mrs. Bostock and the other 
ladies who wear coronets in their hair which is con- 
trary to etiquette. Which is not saying that I do not 
like Mrs. Carter, for I know very well that she values 
my good opinion and frequent inquires my advice upon 
matters of procedure. In fact sometimes I have thought 
that when we were together she had less savoir faire 
than when in company. At any rate she does not make 
so much effort, and effort is quite necessary for her. 
But I may say on passong that Mrs. Carter's manners 
in public is more formal and her manners in private 
less formal than any lady I have worked for, not to say 
at times almost vulgar. That is the chief reason that 
I care less for life in America, for Mrs. Carter always 
treats me as an ekal on ordinary occasions and like 
a sweep in company and I am neither one nor the 
other. 

In England I have seen my Lord Craven jump out 
of his brougham and slap a shabby looking gentleman 
on the back right by the Serpentine and drag him 

17 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

home to dinner with a fine company and make mucH 
of him because he had written a book about old Roman 
ruins, and my lord always had about him a group 
of gentlemen and ladies who had no money, but who 
were either play actors, or sportsmen, or poets, or 
painters, and with them the best folk in England, and 
all of them seemed at home with one another and often 
I could not properly serve the courses at dinner so 
great was the laughter and goings on. But here, al- 
though Mrs. Carter goes to all the great balls and 
banquets and has her box at the opera, to say 
nothing of her country place and the great steam yacht 
that cost a hundred thousand pound, neither she nor 
her guests seem to take much pleasure in them, and all 
who comes to her house are rich ladies exactly like 
herself, and formal and careful always to appear just 
so for fear it might be supposed they did not know 
wot was wot. There has hardly been a single person 
distinguished in art or music or letters (saving Mr. 
Amos) sit at our table, and when Mrs. Carter gives 
a swell musical I have seen great singers that had the 
run of Lord Craven's house and have often handed me 
a tenner in the old days and who my Lord was proud 
to call his friends, shown to a side room and when 
sent for come out and sing their songs and go away 
unspoken to by anybody. But that was when I first 
entered their service. 

Once when Moseer Ritz the great tenor had sung 

i8 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

for us and was going down the front staircase he 
stopped and patted me on the shoulder and says : 

"Well, my chere old Peter, how are you?" And it 
brought back to me all the good times in Park Lane 
and the tears almost came into my eyes so that I 
could hardly speak, but we had a few words and when 
he had gone out I turned around and there was Mr. 
Carter, and he says, surprised-like : 

"Ridges, do you know Ritz?" 

And I says, *T know Mr. Ritz, sir, because he was 
an old friend of my master Lord Craven." 

And Mr. Carter says under his breath, "The deuce 
he was !" 

And the next winter when they had him again he 
was asked to dinner first. 

At the dinner Mrs. Carter introduced him to a fine 
lady in the dra wring-room and says in a sort of apolo- 
getic way, "Let me present Moseer Ritz, the great 
singer, you know." Then to Mrs. Carter's surprise, for 
you could see it, the lady grabs Mr. Ritz's hand and 
he bends over and kisses hers and they begin to jabber 
French at a great rate and the lady turns to Mrs. 
Carter and says with a smile, "Moseer Ritz and I were 
old friends in England." 

After that Mr. Carter sometimes asked me wot other 
friends of Lord Craven's was of that sort, and some of 
them were asked to sing and play for us and always 
invited to dine and introduced to everybody. But of 

19 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

course it did not happen all at once as I write it, but 
came about very slow and gradual so as hardly to be 
noticed. 

But his incident occurred nearly ten years ago 
and to-day you should see how these singing people 
put on side. Some of them is quite ordinary but they 
act as if there was no one else to be considered. It 
is nine years since Mile. Peche sang at our house. After 
the guests had all assembled she came in by herself 
and sang her songs while all the audience kept right 
on talking and paying no attention to her, and at the 
end of the programme Mr. Carter walked up to her 
before everybody and handed her a cheque, face out, 
so you could see a thousand dollars written on it, and 
she turned quite white and her eyes glared like auto- 
mobile lamps and she tore it all up in Httle fine pieces 
and put it on the palm of her hand and blew them 
straight at him. He must have felt orful. After the 
swaree .Yj2iS over he said he reckoned he had made a 
break and Mrs. Carter said she guessed he had too and 
that he should have knowed better. Mr. Tom wasn't 
there or he would have been profane. But that was 
before the time Moseer Ritz spoke to me on the stairs. 

There was another time after that I recall at The 
Beeches when Mr. Carter telegraphed to an agent in 
New York to send him out the best music to be had 
and not to spare expense. He was going to have a 
big dinner and he wanted dinner music but he didn't 

20 



THE CARTER FAMILY 

say so in his telegram, and after the first course had 
been served four little men in long hair drove up 
in the public hack from the station and got out very 
angry because no carriage had been sent to meet them. 
Mr. Carter had instructed me to put the musicians 
in the pantry, and tell them play there with the door 
part open, so I tried to pacify them and put them in. 
Then I told Mr. Carter the musicians had arrived, and 
he spoke up quite loud so everybody could hear and 
says: 

"So the beggars have come at last, have they? Well 
tell them to hit it up and give us a tune !'* 

But when the quartette saw the pantry and the dinner 
being served in it and realized how they was expected 
to sit there and play they took on dreadful and the 
littlest one shook his fist in my face and talked like a 
watchman's rattle for almost five minutes. Then they 
all turned around and walked out of the house. 

Well, Mr. Carter was pretty hot about it then, but 
he was hotter next day when he got a bill for one 
thousand dollars for the services of the Kreisel Quar- 
tette, the celebrated concert players. He had asked for 
the best and he had got them. After that he and Mrs. 
Carter began to see how important these musical people 
think they are, and treated them according. 

But I am a long way orf from Miss Patricia and 
Master Willie who are the ones that I care for most 
of all and saving for whom I should have left the 

21 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Carters long ago, for they are as different from all 
the rest as black is from white, which is, I fancy, be- 
cause they was born too late to feel the bad effects of 
no money at all and then a sudden abundance of it, and 
yet have had all the refining influence that money can 
bring, for Miss Patricia is a thoroughbred if ever there 
was one and a more beautiful and wittier lady than any 
I ever knew in England. Dear Miss Patricia! How 
often I have wished I could tell her in other ways than 
simple service how I worship the ground she walks 
on and I would rather hear her say "Thank you Ridges" 
than get a twenty dollar note from Mr. Carter. God 
bless you. Miss Patricia (I can say it here in my book 
and no one will find it out) and may your smile be 
as happy and your hair as golden in the sunshine and 
your laughter as clear and merry until Peter Ridges 
is too old to know to the contrary ! 



22 



II 

I GET IN MR. TOM^S WAY 

When I read over wot I wrote the last time I took 
my pen in hand it seemed all mixed up and sort of 
wandering, for I had intended to write mostly about 
Miss Patricia and I found I had not wrote about her 
at all but instead a lot about the rest of the family 
and Mr. Amos and the musical people. I shall ask Mr. 
Amos how to write so that one sticks to one thing 
and puts it in the right place, for he is a wonderful 
writer, or at least so everybody says, only he always 
makes fun of everything, even wot he writes hisself, 
so you can never tell. Another thing I notice is that 
although I write very easy it does not sound as well 
when I read it over aloud as when I speak ordinary. 
But the reason for that is because I have learned how 
to say everything I do say exactly right, which is for 
the most part only "Very good, madam, or sir," or 
"Thank you, madam, or sir," or "The carriage is here, 
or dinner is served," et cetyra, et cetyra, so that per- 
haps it is just as well not to put on too much literary 
pretence, but to go ahead with my story, in the hope 
that if it is inside of one it will come out somehow. 

23 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

Now something has occurred that I should put down 
here at once and yet I do not know whether to do so 
before I have described Miss Patricia and Master 
Willie who is at school and back for the holidays, but 
as it concerns the household I will postpone them for a 
moment and do so. It is about Eliza Thomas, for night 
before last when the bell rang, as I was going down 
the corridor I came upon her and Mr. Tom standing 
behind the portieres very close together, and Eliza had 
something shiny hanging from her hand. When Mr. 
Tom saw me he turned around very sudden and walked 
away, but Eliza she seemed sort of frightened and not 
to know wot to do and just stood there sort of pale, 
and I saw it looked like a pearl necklace, and when I 
had passed she ran upstairs as fast as she could. 

Well, Mr. Tom said nothing to me, and indeed we 
has very little to say to each other at any time, and I 
went down to the pantry feeling very depressed, for 
Eliza is one of the best girls I have ever seen in service. 
In the first place she is so gentle that all the servants 
are fond of her and in the second she is so conscientious 
that Mrs. Carter could not live without her. Moreover 
she is as pretty as any lady I have ever seen except 
Miss Patricia, and speaks as soft and correct and her 
behavior is always modest and quiet. Her father is an 
electrician over in Astoria and she has a brother who 
belongs to the Twelfth Regiment and I suppose that is 
how she came to believe all the things Mr. Tom must 

24 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

have told her. O, you, Mr. Tom ! Some time I would 
like to pound your beastly head ! You "Tom!" There I 
have said it! Tom! Just "Tom!" You are not harf 
the man that I am and you know it 1 

I never had any interest in Eliza myself — ^not in 
the least — but being as I am head of the house I felt it 
my duty to speak to her that evening on the stairs. 
I was as nice as I could be and by way of conversation 
asked her about her brother. She did not seem to 
want to talk, so I says : 

"I hope you won't be offended, Eliza, but where 
did you get that necklace you had this afternoon ?" 

Well, you should have seen how flaming her cheeks 
got ! I never seen her like it before. And her eyes just 
snapped as she says: 

*Wot business is that of yours, Peter Ridges?" 

I hadn't meant to hurt her feelings so I says : 

"Don't be angry with me, Eliza, but if Mr. Tom 
gave it to you I should be sorry," I says. 

"And why? I should like to know?" she says, keep- 
ing up the same dignified tone. 

"Because when gentlemen give working-girls jew- 
elry," I says, "They don't mean them any good," I 
says. 

Then Eliza took out her handkerchief and begin to 
cry and I felt like a brute, 

"I don't know wot right you have to speak to me 
like that," she says. "I think it very crool of you." 

25 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

'Tm sorry, Eliza/' I says, "But I was only speaking 
for your own good. I am afraid of that Mr. Tom/* 
I says. 

Then she got angry again. 

"Perhaps you don't know him," she says. 

"Nor you neither, I fancy," I says. 

She started to go hupstairs. 

"How long has this been going on ?" I says, stepping 
in front of her. 

"Kindly let me go by," she says with the tears in 
her eyes. "Or I'll complain to Mr. Carter." 

"O, zvill you?" I says. "It would be a good thing 
if you did." 

Then she made a sudden rush and got by me, and 
although I called "Eliza" after her several times she 
did not turn round and I did not see her again that 
night, but I was very depressed about it because I dis- 
trusted Mr. Tom and wondered wot her father and 
mother would say if they knew he was making up to 
her in that way, and then the extraordinary thing hap- 
pened, for as I was going up the stairs I found a little 
folded scrap of paper like a soldier's cap and when I 
opened it wot should it be but a note in Mr. Tom's 
handwriting. It had no beginning and no ending, but 
it just said: 

"Will be at S.W. comer of Fifth Avenue to-morrow 
night at eight thirty." 

Well, therfe was a pretty how do you do! My first 

26 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

impulse was to tell Mr. Carter, and then to tell Eliza's 
father or her brother, but by the time I had got back 
to the pantry I had decided not to do either, because 
if I did the first Mr. Tom would lie about it and Eliza 
would get packed off and she would fall into his clutches, 
and if I told her father it would make trouble for her 
at home. So I says to myself, * 'Ridges, this is a piece 
of business for you to manage yourself." 

The note I had found on the stairs bothered me quite 
a bit wot to do with it. Of course, it belonged to Eliza 
but if I should give it back to her it would be a warning 
that I had read it and knew wot they was planning, 
which would spoil any chance I might otherwise have 
to defeat Mr. Tom. Moreover, she would never guess 
I had it and would not dare to make much of a fuss 
looking for it, and of course she had read it before 
she lost it, so I burned it up. Harf past eight to- 
morrow night! O you "TomT* You will have to 
countin Mr. Peter Ridges afore you can harm a hair 
of that poor innocent girl's head ! 

Well, I had some doubt as to whether I could get orf 
the next evening but, as luck would have it, the whole 
family went to the opera and left the dinner table a 
little arfter eight. Miss Harriet always kicks and says 
it is an "evidence of ill breeding" to change your hours 
to go to the opera, because no one who is anybody 
ever gets there before nine o'clock, but Mr. Carter says 
he will be darned if he is going to pay a hundred thou- 

27 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

sand dollars for a box and not see the whole show. 
Besides he likes to see the other people come in and so 
does Mrs. Carter, and they always leave early to go to 
bed. Well, I almost wanted to call up Mr. Amos and 
tell him about Eliza, but I decided that there was enough 
people interested in the poor girl already. 

So as soon as I had passed the cigars I slipped 
hupstairs and put on my Inverness coat that used to 
be Lord Craven's, and my top hat which belonged to 
the same, and went out the front door, and wot should 
I see just at the same moment but Eliza step out of 
the area all fixed up in her prettiest clothes and the 
feather boa Miss Patricia gave her on Christmas, too 
pretty for anything, and trip ofiF as smart as you please 
for the corner. I followed just behind so as not to be 
seen and lit a cigar so as to appear like a gentleman, 
and when she got to the corner a handsome wheeled 
out of a side street and there was Mr. Tom, and Eliza 
sprang in and they started orf and I nearly bit my 
cigar in two. Well I had not planned out just wot I 
was going to do and for a moment I was dazed but 
just then a cabby pulled up alongside and says "Keb, 
sir?" alluring, and I forgot all about the money and 
says "FoUer that cab," and in I got. Well, the cabby 
had followed other cabs before I fancy for he whipped 
up his old horse and away we went lickety cut. They 
went down Fifth Avenue at a great rate, and turned 
into Thirty-fourth Street, stopped at the Herald Square 

28 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

Theatre and went in. That sort of balked me because 
I had no ticket and I knew they would stay there all 
the evening, so without thinking I says to the cabby 
quite unconscious, 

"Wot are we going to do now?" 

*T guess we'll go in arfter em," he says. 

Well, somehow I had took quite a fancy to that 
cabby and I says, 

"Right !" I says, "in we go. But first how much do 
I owe you?" I says. 

So he said it was a dollar but added as how he hoped 
he might have the pleasure of taking me home arfter the 
theatre. Then he says, 

"If you are particular interested in any party in 
that other handsome," he says, "the driver is an old 
pal of mine and I can fix it up," he says. 

Then the scales fell from my eyes and I told him 
how he was a good fellow and I would take him at 
his word, and with that he whistled very loud and sharp 
and his friend turned around and we all drove up the 
street. 

I gave the other cabby a dollar and he was most 
genial and told us how he had an appointment to take 
the same parties to Rector's arfter the theatre was over 
at eleven o'clock. They was sure to stay until it was 
over because it was a "hot show," he says. So I and my 
cabby arranged for him to wear a white paper in the 
back of his hat-band so we could see him in the crowd, 

29 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

and for my man to stick right behind him all the time. 
Well, I began to feel like Sherlock Holmes and spend- 
ing the two dollars and another dollar I had give to 
my cabby extra had made me feel reckless, so I bought 
an entrance ticket and went in. 

Well, I had to stand up, and when I had got used 
to looking so far as the stage I really was ashamed to be 
there it was that immodest. My eye! I never had 
supposed that such things could go on with the police 
hunting for crime, and right on Broadway too. Then 
I looked for Eliza and Mr. Tom and couldn't see them, 
but finally I saw Eliza's feather boa in the back of a 
box I had thought was empty and I grew hot and 
then cold and wanted to rush in and take her away 
and would have done it at that only for making a 
scene. 

That show was something scandalous. How any 
decent woman could have sat through it is more than 
I can understand. After a while two actors wot pre- 
tended they was artists came out in tam o' shanters 
and corduroy suits and sang a silly song and arranged 
a lot of big easels in the back of the stage in a row. 
Then a lot of big handsome girls in kimonos came in 
and each one got behind a easel and took orf her kimono 
and threw it away. Well, it made you think wot was 
going to happen next! All you could see was their 
heads above and their bare feet below and the canvas on 
the easel in between. Then just as I had about made 

30 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

up my mind to rush into the box and drag out Eliza, 
the easels began to fold up together and you could see 
their necks and arms and their legs as far up as their 
knees, and the stillness grew intense. I just held my 
breath. Just as the canvas was going to fold up entire 
the girls give a little screech and jumped down off wot 
they had been standing on back of the easels and let 
their skirts (which they had been holding up all the 
time) fall down! My eye! I almost had palpitation 
of the heart. Then a big roar went up all over and a 
drunken man in the gallery said : 

"W-o-o-ow!" very loud, and everybody laughed 
again. 

But I felt sick to think anybody would bring a 
decent girl to see a show like that, for its entire object 
was to see how far you could go. And then as I was 
debating whether or not to stay and lose any more of 
my self respect, all of a sudden there was a little com- 
notion on one of the sides of the theatre and I saw 
my dear Miss Patricia walking up the aisle looking 
straight in front of her and her skirts gathered up as 
if she was afraid they would touch some of those 
people who was laughing, and right behind her hur- 
ried a young man I had often see at our house, named 
Mr. Gaynes, with lots of money and a pink face and a 
high collar, and he was trying to say something to her 
and she wouldn't listen. She walked right out into 

31 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

the foyer all alone and Mr. Gaynes rushed ahead o£ 
her and says: 

"Miss Carter! Miss Carter, dan*t go home! Please 
come back." 

And she turned her eyes on him very cold and says : 

"Had you ever seen this before you asked me to 
join your box party?" 

And he hesitated and turned redder than ever, and 
didn't say anything. 

Then she left him to look for a cab and there was 
Mr. Tom's and she started to get in. 

"Beg pardon, miss, but I'm engaged," says the cabby. 

Just then young Mr. Gaynes came up and says : 

"I hope you'll at least let me see you home," he says 
very much embarrassed. 

"You need not take the trouble," she replies. "I 
should feel quite as safe by myself." 

Well, with that he steps back and I took the occasion 
to nod to the driver that it was all right and that he 
should let her get in, which he opened the wings of 
the handsome and did. At the same moment I slipped 
into my own handsome just behind and when she had 
given the address we started orf. Never in my life 
have I felt greater pleasure than I did then when 
without her knowing of it I watched over my dear Miss 
Patricia like a hen taking her chicken under her wing, 
and I felt so happy about it that I chuckled to myself 
all the way home wondering wot the little lady would 

32 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

say if she knew I was there and feeling so proud of 
her that she would not stay in that place and was brave 
enough to walk right out alone by herself. 

When we got nearly home I stopped my handsome 
and got out and walked near enough to see that she 
got up the front steps in safety and then we hurried 
back to the theatre. This time I did not go in but 
waited outside and watched the people walking up and 
down Broadway, which is one of the most interesting 
things I ever did, for I had never before done so dressed 
in gentleman's raiment and feeling that I was a part 
of it. Moreover I learned a good deal about some of 
the young men who come to our house which has noth- 
ing to do with wot I am writing, and a lot of things 
I should be ashamed to write down as well, but I made 
up my mind that the nice people who were there having 
a good time without any particular money seemed to 
be enjoying it more than the ones that had. 

I was standing by an aberdasher's show case smoking 
my second cigar when up came a young gentleman in 
very swell clothes and says, 

"I beg your pardon, sir, but will you oblige me with 

a light?" And who should it be but Mr. Amos? So 

I did not say anything, but holds out my weed and 

while he was puffin he looks in my face and exclaims : 

"Well of all things ! If it isn't Ridges." 

"Yes, sir," I says, "Asking your indulgence, it is." 

And he laughs a little laugh all to himself, and says: 

33 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"Are you gathering sociological data or pondering 
on the ephemeral quality of human happiness?" 

*T beg your pardon, sir," I says, "Would you mind 
saying that again?" 

"Are you slumming, Ridges, or taking the air?" 
he asks. 

Well, I was all taken aback so I hardly knew wot 
to say and I guess I just stammered and he took me 
by the arm and says : 

"We are both alone," he says. "I have often wanted 
a quiet chat with you," he says. "Wot is the matter 
with a cigar and a bottle of ale ?" 

Now nothing would have given me greater pleasure 
at any other time, but I had business on hand, so I 
said : 

"Mr. Amos, I'm very sorry, sir, but I can't go 
with you. I have an engagement of importance," I 
says. "I hope you will forgive me." 

And with that Mr. Amos draws back and laughs 
again and says: 

"The fault is mine. For give me for disturbing 
your incognito," he says, wotever that is, and he walks 
on and I could have cursed because I couldn't go along 
with him he looked so clean and straight and handsome. 
But in a minute more the people began to come out of 
the theatre and I thought no more of him, being en- 
grossed in watching for Eliza and Mr. Tom. Almost 
everybody had left and I had almost concluded they 

34 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

had gone out some other way when they appeared very 
sudden and jumped into their handsome. I did not 
think Eliza looked quite so jolly as when she had gone 
in but I only saw her for a moment. We gave them a 
good start, because we knew where they was going 
and then started along arfter them. The streets was 
full of people going home from the theatres or out to 
supper and it all looked tremendously elegant and fine 
and I tried to pretend to myself I was a swell going 
to keep a rondayvous with some beautiful and talented 
person. 

Then the next thing I knew I was being helped out 
of the handsome by a nigger in uniform about seven 
feet high who gave me a ticket to use when I came 
out. Across the sidewalk I could see Eliza and Mr. 
Tom pushing their way through the door in an orful 
jam of red- faced men in tall hats and ladies all covered 
with pearls and diamonds and I sort of drifted along 
arfter them on a smell of violets and sachet powder 
until I found a valet helping me orf with my coat 
and giving me another check. 

By that time I had got the shakes for fear some of 
Mrs. Carter's friends might be there to recognize me 
and I was afraid to go in, but I got caught in the crowd 
and pushed right up against a beautiful woman that 
looked like a actress, and when I stepped on her foot 
quite accidental she gave me the sweetest smile. Well, 
the crush was worse than one of Mrs. Carter's Mon- 

35 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

days and I began to see it was no place for a poor 
man let alone a common servant, but I was in for it 
and no way to push out, and the next thing I knew 
I was inside the dining room in front of the crowd 
right in full sight of everybody. 

Now I have worked in dining-rooms all my life and, 
might almost say, was born at a side table, but I must 
confess I felt entirely day trow. If I had only had a 
tray in my hands or even a bottle it would have been 
different, but there I was without anything trying to 
stand as if I enjoyed it instead of like a automato as 
usual. That was the hardest part, for my heels would 
slide together try as hard as I would. 

The glare and noise almost blinded and deafened me 
and it was that hot my forehead was all of a sweat. 
Every second I expected some one at the tables to tell 
me to fetch the pate or ices and I was on the point of 
diving back into the crowd to hide myself when the 
butler steps up to me and bows quite deferential. 

"One?" says he, holding up a finger. 

I give him the haughtiest nod I could and he led 
the way right down the centre of the room and pulls 
out a chair for me at a table in front of the band. 
Well, no one pointed or even looked at me that I could 
see except two ladies who were alone at the next table 
and I flattered myself I was undiscovered, and arfter 
the head butler had given a few more people seats he 
came right back and excused hisself for going orf that 

3^ 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

way and took out a little pad and seemed real anxious 
about my getting wot I wanted to eat. 

"Wot shall it be to-night, sir?" he says quite solici- 
tous, holding his pencil in suspense. "The potage d'es- 
pagnole is particular good, and how would a trifle of 
pompano with sauce diah do to follow?" 

Now I had et no supper, owing to leaving home 
in such a hurry of excitement, and I would have given 
a good deal to say to him, "Bring me a pork pie and 
a bottle of ale," but I knew he would have dropped 
dead if I had, so I says very careless like, 

"O, anything tasty, but let it be hot and enough 
of it." 

"To be sure," he says, feeling encouraged, "I sug- 
gest a bit of venison steak with currant jelly and sauce 
a la Signora with vegetables. 

"Very good," I says, keeping my eye out for Eliza 
and Mr. Tom. 

"And then a canard roti/' he adds, "with sauce 
bigarde, a bit of salad, a sweet, Cammembert and cof- 
fee, and a bottle of sparkling Chambertin," he says, 
scribbling it all down on his pad. 

Then before I had time to say yes or no he shouts 
"garsoon" and jams the paper into the hand of a red- 
headed second man and disappears. They both dis- 
appeared. 

So I began to feel more at home and as if I had 
a right to be there and to look around. It really made 

37 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

me dizzy to see all the hats and feathers and bare 
necks and hear the laughter and popping of corks and 
smell the rice powder and roses and cologne and feel 
the warmth of the air. It was like a big hotbed of 
flowers all in motion. But I noticed that while they 
was much more at ease they did not look as if they 
was enjoying themselves any more than the people at 
Mrs. Carter's dinner parties, and most of the men were 
either very fat and red or very pale and hollow eyed 
and all the ladies looked tired and did not seem to be 
interested in wot was said but spent their time looking 
at one another. 

Then another second man appeared with a silver 
bucket and a red-headed bottle sticking up in it and 
he whipped it out and waved it around in front of me 
and before I could say Jack Robinson he had the cork 
out and was filling my glass. I took a long drink and 
begun to feel quite at ease. 

Presently I located Eliza and Mr. Tom way orf in 
a corner by theirselves and he seemed to be talking 
very earnest to her and she to be turning away her 
head, and then my dishes began to come and I had 
another glass of wine and started in to eat my dinner. 
My eye ! But it was good ! When I had got through 
the venison I saw the second man was staring rather 
hard if respectful at me and I says, 

"Wot are you looking at?" I says. 

38 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

"Beg pardon, sir," he says somewhat embarrassed, 
"Ain't you Mr. Ridges?" he says. 

"That's my name," I says. "I ain't ashamed of it !" 
says I. 

"No offense, sir," he says very apologetic, "But 
don't you remember William?' " 

"William wot," I says. 

"William Rafferty," he says. "Wot used to be witK 
you at Mr, Carter's." 

And then I recognized him for he had been second 
man one summer at The Beeches and let go when we 
come back to town. 

"Of course," I says, "How are you?" I says. And 
with that he began to tell me wot hard luck he had 
and how he was forced to take a job wherever he 
could get it. Then he says, 

"No offense," he says, "But you must have struck 
oil," says he. 

Well, all this took some time and it got to be arfter 
twelve o'clock and a good many of the people began 
to go away, only those who remained seemed to be 
having a better time. There was fewer people but 
more noise, and although I was getting sleepy I had 
a horrid feeling that Eliza might slip away from me. 
The Turkish band began to play the Merry Widow 
waltz and everybody commenced to sing even the sec- 
ond men and especial the two ladies next door who 
by this time had an escort who had come from an 

39 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

adjoining table, and just as I was finishing up wot 
was left of my cheese William came back very friendly 
and there on his tray was a cigar as big as a bobby's 
billy and he says: 

"Have a cigar on me, sir," he says. 

Well I was all took aback for I knew William had 
played in hard luck but I was afraid he would feel hurt 
if I refused so I took it and thanked him kindly and 
said if he was out of a job next spring to look me up. 
Then I asked for the price and William took a long 
pink slip out of his waistcoat and laid it on the table 
and at the bottom of it was twenty-seven dollars and 
eighty-five cents! You could have knocked me over 
with a feather duster. I knew William was watching 
so I hardly noticed it at all but for a fact I felt weak 
in the legs as I put my hand in my trousers pocket. 
But as luck would have it I had nearly harf of my 
month's wages with me and I tossed one twenty and 
a ten dollar note over to William and says lofty "Keep 
the change, William," I says. 

I was just beginning to feel that since I had paid 
for pretty near the whole show I was entitled to be 
there when I saw Eliza and Mr. Tom getting up. When 
the butler saw me he came running over and hoping 
everything had been satisfactory, which it was, saving 
the price, and by the time he had got through it was 
time for me to take up the persuit. Eliza looked very 
worried but her necklace certainly did look fine and she 

40 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

was as pretty as any lady there and a good deal fresher, 
but wot I was to do I had no idea. I waited in the 
doorway while Eliza and Mr. Tom had a kind of 
argumentum on the sidewalk, and she put her hand on 
his arm and I wanted to kill him, but for her sake I 
refrained and then they got in. Well I climbed arfter 
them into my cab and we started huptown. 

Maybe they was going home, in which case my thirty 
dollars would have been lost, for I did not need the 
victuals, and if they wasn't, why wot could I do? I 
knew Mr. Tom for an ugly customer drunk or sober. 
He was never a gentleman in either state, and I fancied 
he was pretty well harf seas over. They drove fast 
and when they got to Columbus Circle they turned 
toward the Park. Well, I says to myself, the Park 
is no place for EHza with him, and I hollered through 
the hole to the cabby to go round the monniment and 
cut em orf, for there was nothing else to do and the 
time had come for something to happen. 

So my cabby whips up his horse and pretty nearly 
runs into em on the other side of Columbus. Both 
horses was pulled back on their harnches and both 
drivers began cussing fast and lively and I knew if 
an3rthing was to be done it would have to be done 
orful quick. Mr. Tom had leaped out of his hand- 
some and was swearing at his driver because neither 
cabby seemed to be doing anything, and I stepped out 
on the opposite side and rushed over and called to 

41 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Eliza to get out. She didn't hear me at first because 
she was watching Mr. Tom but presently she turned 
her head toward me and I could see she was orful 
white and trembly and I whispered, ''It's all right, 
Eliza — it's me, Peter!" and the next thing I knew I 
had climbed in with her and she had grabbed hold of 
my arm and began sobbing "O wot shall I do ! O wot 
shall I do!" Mr. Tom hadn't seen me get in for my 
cabby had begun to sass him and call him names and 
Mr. Tom was roaring out that he would have him 
arrested, and there was such a noise that a mounted 
policeman came galloping over from the Circle. 

"Wot is all this row about?" he says. 

"This cabby ran me down and then used threat- 
ening language to me," says Mr. Tom, shaking his 
fist at my cabby. 

"O forgit it," yells the cabby. "It's a lie, orficer. 
This drunk is trying to occipy two kebs at once," he 
says. 

Well, the orficer leaps off his horse and backs my 
cab away from the other and I thought I saw my chance 
so I leaned out of the handsome and says very quiet: 

"Orficer, this man is so drunk," I says, "that he 
don't know which is his own cab," I says. "The man 
he is abusing is his own driver." 

Then the orficer seeing me and Eliza in Mr. Tom's 
handsome turns to him and says very sharp, 

"Look here! Wot is the matter with you? Git 

42 



I GET IN MR. TOM'S WAY 

back in your own cab and mind your business or I'll 
run you in!" he says. 

The minute Mr. Tom heard my voice he turned and 
made a rush for us but the orficer grabbed him by the 
collar and yanked him back and shouts, 

"Be quiet or I'll give you the stick!" he says. 

So Mr. Tom grinds his teeth and shakes his fist 
and yells out that I was a strange man who had climbed 
into his cab and had no business there, but the orficer 
seeing Eliza beside me was sure that Mr. Tom was 
simply fighting drunk, so he gives him a shake so 
Mr. Tom's hat fell orf, and says: 

"I'll give you one more chance. Get into your cab 
or come with me," he says. 

Mr. Tom looks at us for about a minute with the 
worst scowl on his face you ever see and then he picks 
up his hat and shakes orf the orficer and gets into 
my cab. 

So I says to the orficer, 

"Thank you, orficer. This is a nice performance 
to have happen to a respectable man who is taking a 
lady home," I says. 

"Yes, sir," he says, touching his cap. "I ought to 
have run him in," he says, "but I'd have had to take 
you along as witnesses and he'll sober up all right 
before morning." 

"Good night," I says. 

43 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"Good night, sir," he says, and I give the driver 
Mr. Carter's address. 

Then I found that Eliza was clinging to my shoulder 
and crying and I tried to comfort her, but she kept 
saying how Mr. Tom would have us both discharged 
and how she was ashamed to go home. 

"Next time you'll believe me!" I says. 

"O Peter," she says. "Mr. Tom is a wicked man, 
and I never will go near him again." 

"Why did you go to-night?" I says. 

"Because he said he loved me and he promised to 
marry me," she says hiding her face in her hands. 
"And I believed him." 

"I suppose he was on his way to marry you when 
I stopped him," I says. 

Then I was sorry I had said it and begged her par- 
don and said no one should ever know anything about 
it from me, and as for Mr. Tom he would be afraid 
to tell. But I knew there was breakers ahead for me. 



44 



Ill 

ON SERVANTS IN GENERAL 

Most employers distrust their servants and think 
they are always trying to get the best of them or do 
something they ought not to do. They are always 
complaining because the parlor maid hasn't dusted 
something, or the front door bell is not answered in 
time, or the butler gets a telephone message wrong or 
because the servants don't go to bed at harf past ten, 
and they say that all servants do just as little work 
as they can without being discharged, and take every 
advantage and is extravagant and careless and un- 
grateful. Now I claim to have had some experience 
in such matters and if I could talk free to some of the 
employers they would open their eyes. And as the 
most important thing is what is called the personal 
relation I will begin with that first. 

Is servants ungrateful? Mrs. Carter often says to 
me, "Ridges, I should think arfter all these years Jones 
(or Thompson or William or Morton) would have 
some affection for the family and for me and not 
leave us in this way just to get a few dollars more 
at the Woolen-Smiths. It doesn't seem as if you 

45 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

could get anyone to stay with you, no matter how 
well you treat them!'* 

And she sighs and looks resigned and the house- 
keeper goes down to Sleezy's to get another second 
man. And I have to say: 

"Yes, madam. It is too bad, madam." 

Now wot I would like to say is this : 

"Arfter all you have done for Jones? Wot, may 
I ask, have you done for him ? You have given him 
fifty-five dollars a month more or less regular and 
sometimes three weeks later, and you have handed him 
five or ten dollars at Christmas and a couple of fifty 
cent cravats and a horn of lemon drops. You have 
seen him when he answered the bell about twice a 
day for four years except when you was away, which 
was about five months in the twelve. I don't believe 
you know his first name, and you would not recognize 
him out of his livery. 

'Wot have you done for him? You have allowed 
him to sleep in a cold six by twelve bedroom on the 
top of the house and to have an evening out once 
in two weeks. When he asks you to go to the Coach- 
man's Ball you act as if you thought he was an aban- 
doned rouey. You have worked him from seven in 
the morning till twelve at night if necessary, and you 
don't know wot he has to eat or that the bed he sleeps 
on hasn't any springs and that the mattress is only 
two inches thick and is fourteen years old. 

46 



ON SERVANT'S IN GENERAL 

*Wot have you done for him? You have never 
given him a word of encouragement or offered to raise 
his wages and you have forgotten that he existed unless 
he wasn't around when you rang for him. If the tea- 
pot had finger marks on it, or his shoes weren't clean 
(because you had sent him out to post a letter), or 
the toast was cold, or the window shade was crooked 
you have taken his head orf and frightened him into 
delirium trimmings. And now because he can better 
hisself and get sixty dollars in another place and be a 
full fledged butler you call him ungrateful. What does 
he owe you that he should sacrifice sixty dollars a year 
to stay and work for youf Wot do any of us owe 
you ? Is it such a priceless privilege to wait upon you ? 

"Why should Jones have any personal feeling for 
you? Have you got any for himf Would you hesi- 
tate to let him go if you didn't need him? Would you 
give him five dollars a month more rather than have 
him go? Let us talk sense and count the cards, as 
Lord Craven used to say. 

"Jones takes a job as a servant with you because 
he can't do anything better. He is prepared to do a 
certain amount of work for a certain amount of money 
provided he gets it, which is not always, and the 
victuals and beds is not too bad. His hours is long 
and confining. He hasn't got such a lot of gray mat- 
ter in his cocoanut or he wouldn't be working for two 
dollars a day — a carpenter gets four and a harf, and a 

47 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

bricklayer gets five — so you can't expect him to be a 
William E. Gladstone or a Sir Philip Sidney. 

"Now, if you had a seamstress come in at a dollar 
and a harf a day you would be standing over her to 
see that you got your money's worth, or if you had a 
picture hanger at sixty cents an hour you would keep 
him busy or let him go when there was no more to be 
done. Well, the chances are that unless you have a 
housekeeper, no one never tells Jones just wot his 
work is or where it begins or where it leaves off. You 
don't know yourself whether he is supposed to dust the 
edg'e of the hard wood floor or the parlor maid. 
Jones knows that if he gives in to her she will end 
by making him do all her work, and for her part she 
isn't going to do any of the work he is paid to do. The 
end of it is that it isn't done at all and then there is 
trouble. 

**But even if you lay out his work decent and in 
order, and don't give him so much no mortal man could 
do it and have any time to rest, do you ever see that 
he does it? Is there anything in the way of super- 
intendence over him that amounts to anything? Why, 
you expect him to go like a clock that is wound up 
once a year, only the chances are you never wind him 
up at all. You treat him like a machine, but you 
never oil him or repair him or give him a thorough 
overhauling. But he isn't a machine, he is a human 
being If you have horses or a motor you have the 

48 



ON SERVANT'S IN GENERAL 

vet look them over every month or so and send the 
machine to be put into shape once in so often. But 
Jones will be cleaning brasses when he has water on 
the knee and you will never know it. I had a second 
man once that worked like a horse for five weeks while 
his teeth ached fit to kill him. One afternoon he asked 
permission to go out and the lady started at him and 
said it was not his afternoon and scared him so he 
went back to work without saying a word. The next 
week he went out and had four hupper teeth took out 
all at once. Gratitude, indeed !" 

Now the second thing is the claim that servants 
have a hostile attitude and also a "Fm-just-as-good-as- 
you-are" manner, which is another way of saying they 
are impertinent, but that is all a matter of how they 
have been treated. If you treat a servant like a human 
being, he or she will treat you like one. No servant 
expects you to make a friend of him any more than 
the ashman. It is not a matter of friendship but of 
business, although I may say that I have met a lot 
of servants who were more worth while as friends than 
most of Mrs. Carter's. You are buying something 
from them and they are selling something to you. Now 
if you went into a shop and snapped at the girl at the 
counter and acted as if she was dirt under your feet 
you could hardly expect her to fall on your neck. Or 
if you did not notice the elevator man in the morning 
or spoke to him rude he would probably forget to stop 

49 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

at your floor next time. If you treat your second- 
man as if he was a criminal just out of Sing Sing he 
will be very apt to lose interest in your comfort. You 
will get the same manners as you give. For in Eng- 
land and America a servant is a free man and his vote 
may be worth as much as yours, and while he does 
not care for you to make a companion of him he has 
as much right to being treated civil as the telephone girl 
or the drug clerk. I know some women who will 
spend a morning in a hospital for crippled children 
like an hangel and come home and make their maid 
cry, they speak so sharp to her. And that shows a 
lack of the sense of proportion. There are impudent 
servants but there are impudent clerks. If you keep 
them in your employ you have no one to blame but 
yourself. 

Now of all the foolish ideas the most foolish and 
the one that makes a man lose all patience is the idea 
that servants must be stoopid and have no more sense 
than children. Why, it is enough to make you sick if 
it wasn't funny to hear Miss Harriet talk to one of the 
women servants. When she wants to be nice and get 
something out of one of them she talks to her as if 
she was a child in a Sunday-school class. 

"How nice for you to be goin to a party," she will 
say to Evelyn Raymond. "You may have my old 
white muslin de sware/' she says. "Do you waltz or 

SO 



ON SERVANT'S IN GENERAL 

poker? I suppose you have some ice cream and cake 
for refreshments?" 

And Evelyn will say : 

"Yes, miss. Thank you, miss," and she will take the 
dress and send it to her little sister who is at the Ford- 
ham High School. And then she will tell me about it 
and laugh fit to kill, for Evelyn is the best fancy dancer 
orf the stage in New York and goes to the swellest 
public balls and is always took in a cab and has the 
handsomest dresses you ever see. One is a Turkish 
costume with embroidery and red stockings and slip- 
pers, and another is a gipsy, and I know for a fact 
that there is two hotel men on Broadway who want to 
her to marry them, to say nothing of about a dozen 
lawyers' clerks, travelling men and a swell druggist. 
Her eating ice cream ! My eye ! Why Evelyn goes to 
all the biggest fancy balls in style, and so do most of 
the other girls, only they go in the cars. What makes 
her so high flying is the fact that she had a friend 
named Rachael Bellew who used to work with her and 
one day she took it into her head to go on the stage 
which she did with Edna May in the "School Girl" in 
the chorus. Well, the first thing anybody knew she 
was in a singing part by herself and all the rage, and 
it is a fact that she married one of the richest lords 
in all England and a friend of Lord Craven's, and wot 
is more / have waited on her at dinner at Craven Hall 
when they was on a visit. But I never told Evelyn 

51 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

that for it would make her stuck up. But they do 
not correspond any more now. 

Now for the others there is the Scandinavian Ball, 
and the Austrian Peasants Ball, and the French Ball, 
and all kinds of social political organization balls and 
she has led the Grand March at the "Vesper" with 
Alderman Guinness and took the first prize — a gold 
jewelry case. And there is more champagne than at 
Mrs. Carter's swarees. 

Miss Harriet talks to her as if all she could possibly 
do is to play old maid and read the "Bessy Books," 
whereas Evelyn belongs to two bridge clubs and reads 
all the latest trash. Just now she is on Bernard Shaw, 
which she says is too clever for anything, and that 
Mrs. Carter never heard of him or if she has she 
probably thinks he is the Mr. Shaw who was Sec- 
retary of the Treasury. But of course very few ser- 
vants are as smart, or as well educated or has as good 
a time as Evelyn. 

We read the papers and know as much of what is 
going on as anyone. In our kitchen for example we 
subscribe to some of the new weeklies and all the 
month-old magazines come downstairs regular. There 
is a great deal of reading done, the only objection I 
have being that the novels which the girls bring down 
from hupstairs is most of them improper and not fit 
to read. But they hide them and take them up to their 
rooms. 

52 



ON SERVANT'S IN GENERAL 

Now that is as to ignorance, but the most annoying 
thing is the idea that the servants is not respectable. 
It is enough to make you boil. 

Every time anyone wants to go out for an evening 
I can see that the housekeeper thinks that she is 
going to perdition. So does Mrs. Carter if she knows 
about it. Where do they think we go? Well, if an 
employer had the interest to find out he would discover 
that the only place most servants can go is to call on 
other servants at some other house, and that is poor 
fun, as may be imagined. For most of them cannot 
afford to go to the theatre and there are not so many 
dances as you would think. So if a girl goes out for 
an evening she will mostly go to see some other girl. 
Now she has either got to visit her in the laundry or 
the kitchen or go up to her room, which is generally 
dismal and too cold, so it ends orf in the kitchen. She 
sits in her hat by the servants' table while her friend 
gets her a cup of tea and a cookie or a piece of cake 
and they talk about the new dress she is having made 
for her out of the material her folks sent out to her 
from the old country. Well, the cook is there pot- 
tering round the stove and most of the other servants 
is either there or rushing in and out, and there is a 
lot of noise and so she goes home in harf an hour or 
so and that is the end of it. 

Now, if she is lucky, one of her friends may invite 
her to the theatre, but as no one likes to go in a cheap 

S3 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

way they go where they can get the best there is for 
their money — say to a vaudeville, instead of sitting in 
the gallery at a big theatre. Most of the girls I know 
go with other girls and take supper in some restaurant 
on Sixth Avenue and then take in the show. I sup- 
pose their superiors imagine they are indulging in all 
kinds of vice, but I know when I took Eliza to a vaude- 
ville we went first to a lunch room and had coffee and 
scrambled eggs. 

Most of the girls, contrary to popular belief, have 
no followers hanging round, because most of them 
would not marry if they could. You would be sur- 
prised at the horrer most servants have for matri- 
mony, for most of them is country girls from Germany 
or England or Scandinavia, where they have lived in 
the open air and had plenty to eat and a good-sized 
farmhouse to live in. They could not stand living in a 
three-room flat in a tenement house with a lot of chil- 
dren and no fresh atmosphere, and they look down on 
any woman who is fool enough to do it. The cleverest 
girl I know is a Swede. She is a second parlor maid 
and her father is a stock farmer outside of Stockholm 
and is quite prosperous. She came over because she 
had heard such wonderful stories about America, and 
she has one brother who is an engineer and another 
who is mate on an ocean liner. She earns twenty-five 
a month and she would laugh in your face if you asked 
her to marry you. She is in service because she is 

54 



ON SERVANT^S IN GENERAL 

wise enough to know that it is easy money and she 
gets a comfortable home thrown in. She has made a 
scientifick study of it and spends all her money in 
taking night courses in massage, hair-dressing and 
cooking. Now she has just one ambition in life and 
that is to lay by enough money sooner or later so as 
to be independent in her old age. That is a orful 
thing, isn't it ! She is as pretty as can be and I have 
no doubt Mrs. Carter thinks she has a dozen men arfter 
her all the time, but Olga is only looking to earn her 
living and be independent. By and by she will hire 
a house, may be, and take boarders. Well, she has 
no use for men and indeed she is too intelligent and 
good looking for most of the ones that come to the 
kitchen. I will wager a good deal that Mrs. Carter's 
mother was less of a lady than my aunt Jane at Wap- 
ping-on-Velly, and did not Lord Craven's great grand- 
father marry a dairymaid? 

The surprising thing is that the girls are as nice 
and decent as they are, for if a girl wants to be 
honest when she is in service she has got to be ready 
to lose her situation any day for the sake of her soul. 
For if a man servant speaks to her as he ought not to 
and she cannot stop him and she tells her mistress, 
the man makes up a story a great deal worse and says 
that it was the girl and not he and that she is trying 
to lose him his place because he would not pay at- 
tention to her, just like Potiphar's wife. So all an 

55 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

honest girl can do is to give notice and try her luck 
somewhere else. 

A great deal of talk among people who employ ser^ 
vants is pure ignorance. One often hears a lady say 
at table, 

"O, I dare say my servants behave orful, but I 
haven't time to bother with them. Their morals is 
their own concern so long as they keep them to them- 
selves." 

And I have frequent wanted to say: 

"Excuse me, madam, but if you think there is less 
self-respect below stairs than above you are very much 
mistaken, and as for morals you will find quite as 
many in your own kitchen as in your drawring-room 
after dinner," which is true, for I have been in serv- 
ice twenty years and I never yet heard at the servants' 
table anything approaching the talk at a swell dinner, 
which I have served not a few. 

People in service are just like people anywhere else, 
and, if you think a minute, you will see that if a lot of 
strange ladies and gentlemen met in a railroad station 
and had to eat at the same table they would have as 
good manners as they knew how and talk agreeable. 
Now where is the difference? The people in service 
are all on a journey through life to better theirselves 
and come and go and are always changing, and when 
they sit down to eat together they put their best feet 
forwards and talk like anybody else. Each one is 

56 



ON SERVANT'S IN GENERAL 

different, and some is hard-working and some is loafers, 
and some is intelligent and some is stoopid, and some 
is nice and some is not, but the ones that are not pre- 
tend to be, just like the people in society do, and 
each one wants to make the best impression he or she 
can, so that apart from the mixture of languages and 
the uncultivated manner of speech of many the ser- 
vants' table is very much like the dinners at a board- 
ing-house. In fact, there is much more religion in 
the kitchen than anywhere else, for although I regret 
to say it I have not met in society many people that, 
apart from giving away money, are religious. They 
have enough religion to scare them, but not enough 
to comfort them. 

For who are the servants? Take our own house. 
There is Denis Darroq who is a high-class Frenchman 
and a student, like myself, of literature. His assist- 
ants are serious, well-educated, respectable married men. 
The kitchen maid is a Swedish girl who used to work 
on a farm and is very jolly and nice. Of my four 
second men, one was a gardener who lost his health 
and had to work in the house and who is so religious 
(being Scotch) that he is a bore. One is a young fel- 
low just married with a little baby. Another used to 
be with Mr. Amos's father before he failed, and the 
fourth is a nephew of my Aunt Jane on her husband's 
side from Wapping-on-Velly. The pantry maid is a 

57 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

veterinary's daughter who has to work that hard she 
goes to bed as soon as the dishes is cleaned up. 

If I should go over the men and girls in our house 
and tell Mrs. Carter how hard they work and wot they 
do with their money she would not believe me, for 
there is James who sends twenty dollars every month 
to his old mother in Yorkshire, and Olga who puts hers 
in the bank to buy a annuity, and Eliza who helps take 
care of her grandmother and grandfather in the Senile 
Home, and Evelyn who is sending her sister to the 
High School and then to College, and Aunty Robin- 
son who spends harf the money that Mr. Carter gives 
her on other people. And for that matter, as I have 
no father or mother and there is no one to look out for 
my Aunt Jane, I send a draft to Wapping-on-Velly 
regular every month and once in a while I give a little 
away. And it cost me thirty-five dollars to get Eliza 
away from Mr. Tom, but if that is all it cost it is 
cheap enough. 

And when we seem stoopid and careless and indif- 
ferent (because we do not know how else to act) 
people should remember that arfter all there is not so 
much in life to make it merry and that most of us 
has only a dreary old age of poverty to look forward 
to without wife or husband or children and perhaps only 
the workhouse, and they should be careful how they 
assume that because people are in service they are im- 
moral and unrespectable, when if they only knew they 

58 



ON SERVANT'S IN GENERAL 

would find that all we are trying to do is to keep from 
becoming a charge upon our relatives and that the only 
pleasure we get is a little dancing. 

And when I hear some ladies casting their aspersions 
on the girls in service I would like to ask the one with- 
out sin to cast the first stone, for there is as much 
decency and kindliness below stairs as above. And 
whenever a nice young fellow asks one of our girls to 
a ball I am glad to see her go, for dancing is almost 
the only pleasure they get, poor things, and most of 
them have to dance together for lack of partners, and 
I remember when I took Olga to the Scandinavian 
ball as a sailor boy she had me all over the hall for 
she had forgotten how to dance like a woman. 

And sometimes when I go hupstairs and meet the 
little kitchen maid dragging up in her best clothes arf ter 
being out sitting in some kitchen for a good time, I 
think of how far from home she is and everybody 
she loves and how presently she will be getting down 
on her knees in her cold little room all by herself and 
praying God to look arfter her and I smile to her and 
bid her "Good-night" and say to myself, so she will 
not hear, ''God bless you!" 



59 



IV 

GETTING IN ON "tHE GROUND FLOOR** 

I HAVE always wondered why there was so much 
more money here than in England, for there is no 
doubt about it at all especially in New York. Over 
there almost any one will tell you how poor he is and 
the greatest lords will take time and trouble to figure 
out how to save a little, but if anybody tries to save 
anything in New York they think he is mean, and 
probably he is with money so easy to get. In the 
first place most of the gentlemen are stock-brokers and 
the first thing any one says on his arrival is "How 
is the market?" and "Wot about Steel common?" For 
a long time there was a joke that everybody got orf that 
came into the house which was that "Steel preferred 
maketh the heart sick." To understand it you have to 
be familiar with the Scriptures, but there is one thing 
and that is that except when they are at home stock- 
brokers are the jolliest lot of men you ever saw. I 
have seen millions made and lost right while I was 
passing the roast, as it were. The curious thing is that 
men who talk about millions as if they were nothing 
will work a whole lot to get a hundred dollars. 

60 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

Mr. Amos says that the business of stock-brokers is 
to induce people to sell wot they have not got in order 
to purchase that which they have not the money to pay 
for. Anyhow they are always on the job and I have 
seen some of them take orders for stocks right at Mrs. 
Carter's table. A stock-broker is always glad to see 
anybody, or to take a drink, or a hand at cards, or 
give you a cigar. There was a member of a Wall 
Street firm who offered me fifty dollars if I would 
change his room at The Beeches, so as to be next to a 
big trader from Chicago. Well, of course I couldn't 
do it and I was surprised he should ask me, but that 
night for a fact he got into that very room by mistake 
and before he got out the valet says he sold the Chi- 
cago man five thousand shares of Rubber. James says 
if you buy Rubber you may get wiped out and that 
Baking Powder is bound to rise. He thinks he is 
witty but I have an idea that some one told it to him. 

Well, to hear most people talk you would imagine 
that they had all been born multi-millionaires. They 
all know just wot Congress is going to do and where 
John W. Gates is spending Sunday and it is merely a 
question which one of a hundred sure things they will 
put each other into. The funny part of it is that al- 
though none of them believe the things they say them- 
selves they all believe a part of wot the others tell them. 
There is a herd of deers up at the Zoo where I some- 
times go with Eliza on Sunday and stock-brokers are 

6i 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

just like that. Maybe a little boy will throw an empty 
bag over the fence and they will all run and try to 
gobble it up, and again of some one chucks in some- 
thing real to eat they will not look at it at all. S one- 
times they will stand with their ears pricked up think- 
ing they hear something and then away they all go 
as if to see which can hide first. 

Mr. Carter is a genius at making money. He is a 
smooth talker and he looks so innocent you would think 
it was a shame to take his money. I have heard that 
lots of people took up with Mr. Carter because they 
thought he was easy and they hang on to him now 
because they found he could give them points on how 
to get it out of other people. I think Mr. Carter is 
honest as judged by Wall Street standards, but the 
unfortunate part of that business is that every time 
anybody makes a dollar some one else has to lose it. 

The other night Mr. Carter had a dinner for some 
friends — all gentlemen, and a great many of them on 
Wall Street. There were some others including Mr. 
Amos and it was to meet Mr. O'Connor the great trac- 
tion and subway man, and Mr. Carter said he wanted 
Mr. Amos to give it tone. Well, I was kept busy all 
the morning ordering all kinds of extra things from 
the victualler and Mr. Carter spent an hour with me 
picking out the wines himself. 

Mr. O'Connor came early and I showed him into the 
library and he and Mr. Carter worked for some time 

62 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

at the little desk by the window. Then they had whisky 
and soda and lounged around in front of the fire. Mr. 
O'Connor is jolly looking like Mr. Carter, only he is 
very much fatter. He looks as if everything agreed 
well with him and it is quite hard to tell where his 
neck leaves orf and his head begins, but his voice is 
as soft and gentle as a sucking dove and he has a way 
of saying things that makes them seem wonderful and 
mysterious. When I came in to take the glasses he 
was just saying to Mr. Carter: 

*'There is just enough there to make the thing a 
cinch," he says. "No one can deny that it has pos- 
sibilities. We have got sixty thousand now and we 
could even afford to buy forty more to give it a start 
and help it along," he says. 

"It looks good to me, Charley," says Mr. Carter 
and they shook hands on it. 

The dinner was a great affair and the gentlemen 
all came in automobiles except Mr. Amos. There 
were three bank presidents, and one president of a 
trust company, and two Supreme Court judges, and a 
leader of Tammany Hall and a number of Wall Street 
or as we would say "City" gentlemen. They were all 
the kind that are let in on the ground floor of every 
thing and this was to be a sort of "letting-in" party. 
As fast as they came in they was each introduced to 
Mr. O'Connor and then Mr. Carter took them over and 
gave them a cocktail. It was five and forty minutes 

63 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

arfter eight before the two dozen of them went into 
dinner and I had poured sixty-one cocktails by actual 
count, so that everybody was having a fine time and 
all had become great friends. The judges especially 
thought Mr. O'Connor was fine and got on each side 
of him. Of course we had sherry and white wine right 
orf together with whisky, and the champagne was 
served with the fish. By the time the ontray was served 
there was a spirit of confidence and affection hanging 
over the table like a benediction. Mr. Carter had not 
said the dinner was in honor of Mr. O'Connor but 
everybody seemed to think he was the most dis- 
tinguished man there and finally some one proposed 
his health and they all drank it most enthusiastic. Then 
one of the judges got up and said as how it was a 
great pleasure to meet one who held the balance of 
power in the financial world and could buy up kings 
and principalities as if they was chocolate eclairs and 
a lot of stuff about the duty of the courts to preserve 
the stability of economic conditions and not to legislate 
and wot a sin it was for any man to try and stretch 
the Constitution of the United States, so that Mr. 
O'Connor was deeply touched and made a very solemn 
speech about the danger of disturbing the country's 
prosperity and so forth, and then he changed his man- 
ner and told a funny story about a cow that made 
everybody nearly die laughing. Well, pretty soon one 
of the Wall Street gentlemen hollered across the table 

64 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR*' 

at Mr. O'Connor to know if there was anything good 
that he knew about, and everybody stopped talking 
on the instant so you could hear a pin drop and James 
sneaked up and stood right behind Mr. O'Connor's 
chair. 

"Ah!" he says, "Mr. Skinner, if I knew of anything 
good I would be a rich man myself!" 

Well, at that everybody laughed a lot because they 
knew Mr. O'Connor was busting with money. 

"There is one thing I make it a rule never to do," 
he continues, "and that is to advise a friend to buy or 
sell a stock, and I feel that we are all friends here," 
he says. "I never took a tip and I never gave one. 
When I buy a stock," he says, "it is because I have 
made a thorough study of it as a business proposition 
from the ground up. If the value ain't there I don't 
touch it. If the value is there I study the probable 
future conditions. If there is anything I deprecate," 
he says, "it is stock gambling." 

Well, the gentlemen hadn't expected just that but 
they applauded wot he said and I could see they all 
wanted to find out wot he had looked into "as a business 
proposition." So there was general conversation for a 
while and then somebody asked wot Mr. O'Connor 
thought of "Chicle." Mr. O'Connor said he thought 
Chicle was fine, and that it would stick, and Mr. Amos 
added that it was a easily digestible security. Well, 
arfter that they asked him about all sorts of things but 

6s 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

he put them orf and talked about politics and how 
the President was a menace to Wall Street and he 
was as mum as an oyster, but as it got toward time 
for desert everybody, and especially the judges, got to 
pressing him for information all at once and he sort 
of yielded as if he was going to tell them something 
and then he stopped and they all looked fearfully dis- 
appointed and Mr. Carter shouted, "O go on, Charley, 
wot is it?" 

"Yes, yes!" they all says, "Tell us wot it is, Mr. 
O'Connor." 

"Well," he says, *T have looked into one property 
recently that I think well of and that is Toledo Tube. 
I think it has a great future. There is a city of three 
hundred thousand inhabitants with most rudimentary 
facilities for transportation," he says. "The tube is 
most dug, and the rolling stock is all purchased, and 
they will have trains in operation in a few weeks. They 
are certain to pay six per cent, and the stock is selling 
around forty. It looks good to me. With the natural 
growth of the city it will become a great property." 

So they asked him more about it and he went on 
giving figures and percentages, and to tell about depre- 
cation and stinking funds, and all that, and then he 
shuts up like a clam and wouldn't say anything more 
about it at all, and Mr. Carter said it was time to smoke 
and we might as well go into the picture gallery, which 
they did most reluctant. 

66 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

There is a big picture over the fireplace there that 
Mr. Carter had painted by a famous artist for a great 
lot of money and as I was bringing in the coffee he 
was pointing it out to one of the judges and telling 
him about it. It is a picture of a group of ladies and 
gentlemen in a forest and is quite pretty and dreamy 
and there is a fool in parti-colored raiment, so Mr. 
Carter he waved his hand up toward it and says 
careless-like : 

"There is a little thing I had done to order," he 
says. "By Abby," says he. 

"Ah, indeed!" says the judge putting on his glasses. 
"Wot is it?" he says. 

"A scene from Shakespeare," says Mr. Carter. 

"Ah, indeed!" says the judge. "Wot particular 
play does it represent?" 

Then Mr. Carter put his hand in his trousers pocket 
and screwed up his mouth and hesitated quite a while, 
and then he says : 

"It is a scene from Shakespeare," he says, "But I'll 
be hanged if I remember which play it is or wot it is 
about." 

Well, 'the judge he didn't say anything, but he reached 
over and began to drink his coffee and pretty soon 
one of the judges proposed a game of cards, so I had 
the tables brought in and they got up a game of pdker. 
Mr. O'Connor didn't play but sat in front of the fire 

^1 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

with a group of City gentlemen and when I served the 
Hqueurs I heard him talking about Toledo Tube again. 

Now I had been keeping my ears open you may be 
sure and when I heard wot a fine property it was and 
how much confidence Mr. O'Connor had in it I made 
up my mind that I would not let the grass grow under 
my feet either. 

*'Here is my chance," I says to myself, "to get my 
publick-house," I says. 

Well, the party was a late one and I was that sleepy 
I could have dropped off standing up, but finally they 
all went and I closed up the house. 

Next morning Mr. Carter had his breakfast served 
hupstairs and I slipped out as soon as I could and 
went to the bank where I had deposited my savings 
and got them out which was five hundred dollars in 
all. I asked the banker's dark where one could buy 
stocks and he referred me to a place just aroimd the 
corner near by. I had never been to a broker's office 
before and I was quite excited when I opened the 
door and stepped in. It was about five and forty 
minutes arfter nine o'clock and the place was quite 
empty except for a small boy cleaning up the floor 
and a young gentleman smoking with his feet up on 
the desk and reading of a newspaper. When he saw 
me he swings his feet down and gets up very polite 
and says : 

"Good-morning, sir, wot can I do for you?" 

68 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

Then a queer look came over his face and he sort 
of stammered and I says: 

*'I want to purchase some stocks," I says. 

"O, you do!'* he says, in quite a different tone. 
"By the way," he says, "Wot is your name?" 

"Peter Ridges," I says, "And I am employed by 
Mr. Carter," I says. 

"O ho!" he laughs, "So that is it! Don't you re- 
member me?" he says, "I'm Mr. Williams." 

Then I remembered him at once for being a gen- 
tleman that often called at the house to ask for Miss 
Patricia but I had been so excited I had not recalled 
him at first. 

"Certainly, sir," I says. "Of course I do, and I 
am glad to find some one I know, sir, for I never 
tried to buy any stocks before." 

"Well, why do you want to buy em now ?" he says, 
quite interested. 

"I have some information," I says, "that I think 
is valuable." 

"Don't say!" he says. "Sit down won't you and 
have a cigar?" and he takes out a box of Invincibles 
and hands em to me. 

Now I had never sat in a gentleman's presence be- 
fore except Mr. Amos, but I thought of my five hun- 
dred dollars and made up my mind that if Mr. Williams 
asked me to I might as well do it and take the cigar 
besides which I did. So Mr. Williams sat down too 

69 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

and just then a little machine like a glass beehive began 
to tick and write something on a piece of ribbing paper 
and he says : 

"They're orf," he says, "Wot are you going to buy?" 

" ^Toledo Tube/ sir," I says. 

" Toledo Tube' !" he says. 

"Yes," I says, "I understand it is a very good propo- 
sition," I says. 

"Who told you?" he asks. 

"Mr. O'Connor," I says, "But I merely happened 
to overhear wot he told a party of gentlemen." 

"Well, that sounds pretty good to me," says Mr. 
Williams when I got through telling him about it. 
**How much do you want to buy?" 

"All I can," I says, "for five hundred dollars." 

"That would be fifty shares ordinarily," he says, 
"But I will give you a special rate at five points mar- 
gin and you can buy a hundred," he says. 

So I said thank-you and he got up and looked at 
the ribbing paper in the glass beehive and says: 

"Jumping Jerusalem !" he says. " Toledo Tube' 
opened at 47 and has gone up four points on sales 
of twenty-five hundred shares. If you are going to 
buy you had better buy quick." 

So I says go ahead and Mr. Williams went over 
to a telephone and told some one down town to buy 
a hundred "T. T." at the market. In the meantime 

70 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

the machine said it had gone up another point and 
Mr. Williams says : 

"There ! There are your hundred shares just come 
out on the tape at 52." 

Then he whispered something to the orfice boy who 
ran out as fast as he could without his hat, and then 
he called the man up on the telephone again and told 
him to buy a thousand more. 

"That is not for me, is it ?" I says. 

"O, no," he says. "That is for another customer," 
he says. 

So I sat there smoking and wondering how much 
I would make and pretty soon the orfice boy came in 
and arfter a while a stout gentleman in a fur coat. 

"This is our Mr. Walker," says Mr. Williams. "Mr. 
Walker, I want you to know Mr. Ridges, a new cus- 
tomer of the house," he says. 

So we shook hands and Mr. Walker passed me the 
weather and then he sat down at a desk and began 
calling up a lot of people on the telephone. 

Every once in a while he would speak to Mr. Wil- 
liams and Mr. Williams would call up the man down 
town and order more "T. T." 

"This T. T.* is a great thing," he says, "We have 
just had some special information about it," he says, 
"which entirely corroborates you," he says. 

Well, I stayed just to see how fast it would go up 
and about every third thing on the ribbing was "T. T.," 

71 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

a hundred, or five hundred, or a thousand shares, and 
once somebody bought five thousand, and it kept going 
up and up and when it got to 59 Mr. WilHams says, 
says he: 

"I congratulate you," he says. "You have made 
seven hundred dollars." 

My heart nearly stopped for I had no idea you could 
make money that fast, so I says: 

"Do you think I had better sell, now?" I says. 

"Well," he says, "You can do as you like, but my 
information is that it is going to par." 

"How high is that?" I says. 

"To 100," he says. 

"And how much would I make in that case?" I 
says. 

"Four thousand eight hundred dollars," he says. 

My eye! But I nearly dropped, I was that as- 
tonished. 

"Do you think I can make all that ?" I says. 

"Why not?" he says. "If it's good for anything 
it's worth that!" 

By that time "T. T." was up to 63, and the orfice 
was beginning to fill up with a great many young 
gentlemen some of which I had seen before at our 
house. 

Mr. Williams whispered to all of them and most 
of them spoke to me and asked me how I was most 
friendly, and by and by Mr. Walker invited me to 

72 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

come into his back orfice and put a chair by his desk 
for me and closed the door and gave me another 
cigar, and says: 

"I do not suppose you have considered the matter," 
he says, "But we might make an arrangement profit- 
able to us both," he says. 

"How is that, sir?" I says. 

"Why, you are by way of getting very important 
information frequent," he says, "Without any trouble 
to yourself," he says, "and if you should care to do 
so we might undertake joint operations and we would 
be pleased to give you a share in the result," he says, 
"without cost or risk to yourself." 

"You mean that I should tell you anything that 
I hear Mr. Carter say?" I says. 

"To put it bluntly, yes," he says. Then seeing that 
I looked surprised, he added: 

"You do not have to decide now" he says. "Think 
it over. I am confident it would be well worth your 
while," he says. "I am glad to have met you!" and 
he held out his hand which I am ashamed to say I 
took. I went back to the front room and the crowd 
there was getting bigger and bigger every minute and 
it seemed as if every young man I had ever seen was 
in there buying "T. T." which was now up in the 
seventies. There was a sort of hush when I came 
in and then the noise got louder and louder, and as 
I had begun to feel very awkward and that I had 

73 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

made a mistake and done harm to Mr. Carter, I put 
on my hat and went out. 

Just as I reached the front of the steps I ran plump 
into Mr. Amos who was coming out of the Century 
Club. There was nothing to do so I says: 

"Good-morning." And he says : 

"Good-morning, Ridges," very much surprised. 
Then he looks up at the door and sees the sign 
"Williams & Walker" and looks very sharp at me 
and says: 

"Well," says he, "Wot were you doing in that bucket 
shop ?" he says. 

"Bucket shop?" says I feeling very guilty. 

"Yes, bucket shop," says he. "Wot business have 
you in there. You a respectable butler," he says. 

Well you may be sure I was embarrassed and I 
hardly knew wot to do, but I says perfectly frank: 

"I have been buying a hundred shares of ^Toledo 
Tube' " I says. 

"O, Ridges!" he says. "Et tu Brute!" 

"Wot is that?" I says. 

"It is too brutal!" he says and then he laughs. 

"My dear old Ridges," he says, "why do you throw 
away your money like that?" he says. 

"I have not thrown it away," I says, "I have made 
nearly two thousand dollars already," I says. 

He looked at me in rather a queer way and I would 
have given the money not to have had him see me, 

74 



. GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

but then his look changed and he took me by the arm 
and led me along to where there was a cafe. So we 
went and sat down at a little table and Mr. Amos 
ordered two bottles of beer and asked me to tell him 
all about it, and I told him. 

"Dear me!" he says, "To think that you like the 
others should have been bitten by the Tarantula of 
Wall Street. Now, are you going to give information 
to these pirates?" he says. 

"Do you think it would be right, sir?" I asks. 

"Do you, Ridges?" he replies. 

"Certainly not," I says. "Why do you ask me?" 
I says. 

Then a smile came over his face and he says, "I 
beg your pardon. Ridges! I always knew you were 
a gentleman." 

Then he hesitated. 

"The first thing is for you to get your money out 
as fast as you can," he says. "You had better go 
right back and sell your stock. I will wait for you 
and make sure that the wolves do not tear you to 
pieces," he says. 

So we walked back and I went in and everybody 
wanted to know if I had heard anything new, but 
I said no I simply thought I would make sure of my 
profits. 

"Better not," says Mr. Walker. "Why with your 
profits you can carry five hundred shares and make 

75 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

a thousand dollars every time *T. T.' goes up two 
points." 

Well for a minute I wanted to do it. 

"Why not buy four hundred shares more?" says 
he. *'A11 you will have to do is to leave your five 
hundred dollars. Think of it! Five hundred shares 
when you started with five hundred dollars only two 
hours ago!" 

But I thought of Mr. Amos and I had a feeling that 
it was not right to make so much money so quick 
anyhow, and the cigars had made my head ache and 
I says: 

**No, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 
You can sell my hundred shares." 

So Mr. Williams sold them at 72 and gave me a 
cheque for $1975 and my 500 dollars back which he 
had put in his pocket. Just then a young gentleman 
named Potts who was standing by the glass beehive 
says: 

"Wot's this! Look here boys, there is something 
the matter with T. T.' " 

They all made a rush for the ribbing and he began 
to shout : 

"Ten thousand at 71 1 Five thousand at 70% ! Ten 
thousand at 70}^, 500 at a quarter, one thousand at 70 !" 

"Let me get at that telephone !" yells Mr. Williams. 
"Here Central give me 1205 Broadway!" 

"Ten thousand at 69!" exclaims Mr. Potts. "Say 

76 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR'' 

something is happening down there all right — ^whew! 
Ten thousand at (^yYz' This was too much for me! 
I'm going to get out. Williams sell me 500 at the 
market !" 

"Sell me a thousand!" says another. 

"And my five thousand!" cries another, very pale. 

"Now keep your shirt on!" growls Mr. Williams. 
"I'm giving the orders as fast as I can, but some 
of you fellers ought to hang on. Why we are just 
helping to break the market !" 

"All we want is our money!" shouts Potts. 

"I believe we've been sold out!" says Walker. 

"Fake information!" cries Potts. "Where is this 
man that told you about it?" 

"Yes," yells Walker. "Here you, is this a put up 
game?" 

Well I did not know wot it all meant but they seemed 
so shirty I thought I had better get out rapid which 
I did. Mr. Amos was waiting on the corner and when 
I told him about it he laughed until he cried. 

"You're a lucky dog, Ridges!" he says. "Why, 
dcai't you suppose I would have been rich years ago 
if tips would have done it!" 

"Why, wot do you mean?" I says. "Don't you 
think T. T.' is a good stock?" 

"I don't know and I don't care," he says. 

"But Mr. O'Connor " I says. 

77 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"O'Connor !" he says, "O'Connor ! I wouldn't trust 
him with a cracked nickel," he says. I 

Well I was that shocked I couldn't speak for a 
whole minute. Finally I says : 

"But why does Mr. Carter have him to dinner, 
then?" I 

"Give it up," he says. "Perhaps he likes him.'* 

By that time we were at the bank and Mr. Amos 
went in with me while I deposited my cheque for $1975, 
and as he knew the dark he asked him wot was the 
news and the dark said O nothing, except there was 
tremendous dealings in Toledo Tube which jumped 
from 47 to 72 and then dropped way down to twenty- 
something. I 

"No one knows wot to make of it," he says. 

So I says good-bye to Mr. Amos and feeling harf 
ashamed and harf glad and terrible excited I went 
back to the house and attended to setting the table 
for lunch and while I was in the dining room Miss 
Patricia asked me to telephone for some flowers. Now 
Mr. Carter has an extension in his room and can 
call up Central hisself and when I took down the re- 
ceiver he was talking to some one at the other end and 
I heard him say: 

"Get rid of it? I should say we did! Some fool 
began to buy at ten o'clock and we unloaded all the 
way up to sixty-nine. Even then it kept on moving 
up and I'm surprised it didn't go to par." 

78 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

The man on the other end said that was great 
and he congratulated him to be sure and they both 
said "so-long and see you to-morrow," and hung up. 
Then I ordered the flowers and when lunch was served 
you could see something wonderful had occurred be- 
cause Miss Harriet was in great spirits and said how 
she was going to give another ball and when James 
dropped the Dresden china fruit plate that cost so much 
Mr. Carter just laughed and said it was all right and 
to order harf a dozen more, and arfter lunch he gave 
me ten dollars and says that the dinner last night was 
fine and served beautiful. 

All that afternoon I was in a state of excitement 
and nothing I ate seemed to agree with me which is 
very unusual, but there was no one to talk to or to 
tell about it and I began to feel lonely and sort of 
miserable. I had made two thousand dollars but I 
felt as if I had stolen something and just to cheer 
myself up I asked Eliza to go to the theatre with me, 
for the family was going out to Sherry's to have wot 
Mr. Carter calls a "bust." But I was so glum that 
Eliza kept asking me wot was the matter and saying 
I had better take some Cod Liver Oil and go to bed, 
but it was a very funny play and I got to laughing 
and forgot all about the money for there was a fellow 
on the stage the rummiest looking guy you ever saw 
and he would start and fall all over the table and light 

79 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

on his head and not mind it at all, and then he would 
stand on a chair and fall orf and gets his legs caught 
in the chair's legs until you would have died laughing. 
Well, I began to feel better and when that was over 
the page came out with a sign "Williams & Walker." 

"My eye!" I says under my breath. 

And Eliza says, "Wot is it? Have you got a pain?" 

And I says, no it is nothing at all, and not to mind 
me. But it did seem queer that they should have 
that name and I thought maybe I was a little orf my 
head, and in a minute the curtain went up and wot 
should it be but two niggers who sang and played 
most beautiful. It was enough to make you cry and 
Eliza did cry a little, so I took hold of her hand and 
she did not draw it away and I felt more like myself. 

In the intermission there was a tired looking man 
just in front that took out and read a newspaper with 
a bald head and right at the top was a big head line : 

BIG SLUMP IN "T. T." 

Small Panic on Stock Exchange 

Williams & Walker Suspend 

A sort of chill ran over me and I says: 

"I beg pardon, sir, would you mind letting me glance 

at that a minute?" 

So he says no, only to let him have it back. And 

I took it and read : 

80 



GETTING IN ON "THE GROUND FLOOR" 

Among those who suffered was the firm of Williams & 
Walker, who do an uptown business in the neighborhood 
of the Century and other clubs. Acting on what they sup- 
posed was reliable information the firm plunged heavily and 
induced many of their customers to do the same. When the 
bottom dropped out of the market they were many thousand 
shares long of the stock and were obliged to announce their 
suspension at the close of the day. Their liabilities are very 
large and their assets are said to be practically nothing. 

Then I realized how I was the unconscious instru- 
ment of Providence in putting a stop to such gambling 
operations and how my check was worthless. But 
for all that I had lost the two thousand dollars I felt 
happier than I had all that day, and I gave the man 
back his paper and told Eliza all about it, but I am 
sure she was glad about the money for she says: 

"Peter, I'm glad they failed!" 

And I says to myself: 

"Ridges," I says, "high finance is not for you!" 



8z 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

Being a plain serving man I make no especial pre- 
tensions to morality but do my duty in that state of 
life it has pleased God to call me simple as I see it, my 
genius lying more particular in the way of literature. 
In things spiritual I bow to my pastors and masters, 
but in the things of this world I claim to have both 
experience and observation and I believe if some day 
I could have a good talk with Mrs. Carter I could 
teach her something. I have pondered oft on the 
subject of how much pleasure she and the people round 
her really get out of life. 

When you come down to it there are only three 
kinds of pleasure, as must appear to everybody. In 
the first place eating is one kind of pleasure, and sit- 
ting down arfter you have been standing up is an- 
other (and to go to bed arfter a hard day's work is 
the same sort), and to say a kind word to a fellow 
servant or help him along is a third. Now these is 
all different kinds of pleasure. In the first you get 
something; in the last you give something; and in the 
second you just get relief. If you try you can put 

82 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

every kind of pleasure there is into one of these three 
classes, and by way of keeping cheerful I have often 
compared my own lot in life with Mr. and Mrs. 
Carter's on just this basis. 

For example, rest. Now sleep is a pleasure and so 
is sitting down and doing nothing and I am glad 
enough to rest my back against the step ladder in the 
pantry arfter dinner, and I drop orf to sleep as soon 
as I get into bed, to say nothing of snoring which 
James accuses me of and which I say is a slander but 
cannot prove it. But Mr. and Mrs. Carter never 
want to sit down and if they set for any length of 
time is nervous and especial Miss Harriet. She is 
always figetting around and jumping up and down 
and hopping orf somewhere just because she never does 
anything or takes any exercise, and so is her mother 
although more fat. And none of them can sleep, for 
they are always complaining about wot miserable nights 
they have had. And, although Mr. Carter lies out on 
his sofa arfter dinner and sighs contented as he smokes 
his big black Havana I know it is only because he 
thinks it is proper and the right time to smoke and 
sigh, and he doesn't begin to enjoy it as I do my 
pipe in the men's sitting room. And it is the same 
way with holidays and when one has any time orf, for 
on such occasions a serving man is happy to do nothing. 

One of the chief things that strikes me about the 
way rich people in America try to enjoy themselves 

83 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

is the trouble they go to to do it. Now you would 
think if Mr. and Mrs. Carter really liked music they 
would go to concerts and the opera when they felt like 
it, but instead they buy a box for an enormous amount 
of money and go to all the operas that come on fash- 
ionable nights whether they like them or not. They 
do not enjoy music and it is very hard for both of 
them to pronounce the names of the singers with the 
right accent, and they are always taking Scotty for 
Caruso, and for a long time Mrs. Carter thought 
Cavalery was a man. I have heard Mr. Amos when 
they were alone for dinner go on talking a whole lot 
of rubbish and making up all sorts of queer names and 
pretending they was singers and Mrs. Carter taking 
it all in serious until he told her, and then she laughed 
as hard as anybody. There is one thing I like about 
her and that is she enjoys a joke on herself as much 
as anybody. 

It is the great cross of Mrs. Carter's life trying to 
dispose of her box the nights she can't go, for of 
course she wants fashionable people to sit in it when 
she isn't there and the fashionable people almost al- 
ways are engaged. I have known her to send the 
tickets to her box to seventeen different families be- 
fore she could get anyone to take it, and each time 
when it came back with a polite note you could have 
thought she would die, and she can never get anybody 
to take it on Saturday nights. 

84 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

From all I can see the opera is a pretty sad affair 
an)rway. Mr. Amos goes almost every night but he 
loves music and knows almost all of the operas by 
heart, so he is always glad to sit with Mrs. Carter and 
she gets him to tell her wot it is all about. Wot Mr. 
and Mrs. Carter really like are the comic operas, and 
they are glad when the spring comes and it is proper 
for them to go. Mrs. Carter is always repeating the 
jokes she hears there and she thinks Mr. Weber and 
Mr. Fields are the funniest men she ever saw. She 
says it makes her "full of laugh." So I think it is 
perfectly fair to count out entirely owning a opera box 
as a method of enjoying one's self except in so far 
as it is a satisfaction to have your name printed on 
the program. 

Now as for dinner parties I know for a fact that 
Mrs. Carter gets no fun out of them at all. It is 
one thing to have a big party of distinguished and 
jolly people like Lord Craven used to have who all 
know one another and make a lark of it and it is 
quite another to ask a whole lot of people you only 
know a very little and are trying to know better than 
they want you to. All of Mrs. Carter's dinners cost 
a heap of money and the table is always banked up 
with orchids and the service is all gold plate, but they 
are always solemn like a funeral and if any one laughed 
out loud everybody would be shocked. Those are the 
times Mrs. Carter is so stiff and correct that she acts 

85 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

as if It was a sin to cough and Mr. Amos is the only 
one who is not afraid of her. I remember one time we 
had ouvrers o pom which is eggs poached inside of 
baked potatoes that has had the inside taken out and 
fixed up again and put back, and one young gentleman 
thought he would be funny and says to Mrs. Carter: 

"Mrs. Carter, it looks as if your chickens had got into 
the potato patch," he says. 

And everybody sort of looked orrified and Mrs. 
Carter seemed very much embarrassed and says : "Dear 
me," she says, "I really do not bother myself with 
such matters," she says, *'but my impression is that 
at The Beeches the hen house is a long way from the 
garden." 

So the young man felt very much humiliated. Now 
the hideous mockery of the dinners is that Mrs. Carter 
has such a bad digestion that she cannot eat any of 
them, so it is all lost so far as she is concerned and 
Miss Harriet as well, for most wot they eat is hot 
water and pepsin pills, and both of em always have a 
headache next day on account of the strain of having 
to be agreeable and talk so loud and the light shining 
in their eyes. And when they go out to dinner it is 
exactly the same way, and of course an afternoon tea 
or reception is a thousand times worse. Sometimes 
Mrs. Carter says she wishes she was back in Brooklyn, 
and Miss Harriet will shudder and exclaim "O mother, 
I wish you wouldn't say such things !" 

86 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

The steam yacht is worst of all, for everybody but 
Miss Patricia and Master Willie are always seasick, and 
if they go abroad they always take one of the big 
ocean liners and send the Leviathian across to meet 
them. But they only stay a little while and come right 
back so as to be on hand for the season at Newport. 
Most of the time the yacht is just lying around in the 
harbor and Mr. Carter is always worrying hisself to 
death over the expense. 

Now I have no prospect of owning a big house or 
a yacht or a box at the opera or having servants to 
wait on me, so that I am not discontented because I 
have not got them, and all I want is to lay aside 
enough so I can buy a publick-house somewhere near 
Craven Hall and settle down for my old age with Aunt 
Jane. So I am very happy because I have saved 
enough already so that I can do so in five or six years 
more. Mr. Amos and I are agreed on this, for we 
have talked it over that a man's happyness depends 
on how far he has wot he wants. Now the less 
you want the more chance there is of having it and 
so the more likely you are to be happy. 

There is a little cripple boy who lives in the opposite 
house and he has never been able to set his foot on 
the ground, but when he goes out to drive the foot- 
man has to carry him out. All the rest of the time 
he sits by the window in his father's library and 
watches the people passing up and down, and he is 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

so thin and pale it is enough to make your heart 
ache. Well, Miss Patricia never goes out of the house 
that she does not wave her hand to him (although she 
has never met him) and he watches for her every 
day and smiles and waves back and is always looking 
for her. And one day I was at the window and I 
felt so sorry for him I sort of waved too and he nodded 
right back and smiled, and now I know him very well. 
It does not cost anything to smile at a little sick boy 
but every time I do when I go back to work I feel 
like singing. And he is such a patient little chap that 
it does you good just to see him sitting there, for if 
he can be cheerful when he is all hunched up like that 
you would think anybody else would be ashamed not 
to be when they have everything in the world like 
Miss Harriet. 

Most of the folks who is dissatisfied is fools or 
worse, and there was a fellow once who got a job 
as a second man in our house and stayed on for a 
while that had all kinds of strange ideas. He was 
all right until he got talking and then he was enough 
to drive you to drink. Well, one day he didn't polish 
the teapot to suit and I says to him : 

"How do you expect to keep a place if you don't 
do your work any better than that?" I says. 

So he sets down the teapot and smiles quite superior 
and says : 

"I should have told you before, Ridges," he says, 

88 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

"but this is as good a time as any, that I am not wot 
I seem,'* he says. "I am not a servant, but a student 
of social conditions making a independent investiga- 
tion," and he gave me a look as if he expected me to 
fall flat. 

Well, I didn't know who or wot he was and I 
cared less, so I says : 

"Wot has that got to do with your leaving finger 
marks on the teapot ?" I says. "That is wot you are 
paid for," I says. 

And he smiles and says: 

"You do not understand," he says, "Fm a sociolo- 
gist," he says, says he, "and I am going to write this 
all up in a book and expose this orful condition of 
things," he says. 

"Wot rot are you talking?" I says. "Wot orful 
condition have you found?" I says. 

"Why, mine and yours and everybody else," he 
says. "Here we are obliged to slave for a living wage 
amid unsanitary and immoral surroundings, while those 
who enjoy the fruits of our labor are rioting in lug- 
sury, dissipation and drunkenness." He waved his 
hand and stood up while I backed over toward the sink. 

"The rich is getting richer," he says, "and the poor 
is getting poorer," he says. 

"Do you think so?" I interrupts. "Well my wages 
is four sov. a month more than they were ten years 
ago and three times wot they was In England," I says. 

89 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"You don't understand," he says, getting all hupset 
in his speech. "Why should one man ride in his 
coach," he says, "and have his box at the opera and 
his yacht," he says, "and another have to clean the 
dishes?" he says. "It is a fundamental error in the 
constitution of society," he says. 

"I fancy it's because that other man is clever enough 
or lucky enough to make the money," I says. 

"Nonsense," he replies. "Look at these people for 
whom you work — observe how happy they are ! How 
they eat, drink and make merry, while you are bound 
down to days of misery. Their time is filled with 
feasting and pleasure while you are mingling your 
tears with those of your fellow bondsmen." 

"Well," I says, "the tears I shed wouldn't wet a 
postage stamp, and I haven't seen any one else shed- 
ding tears lately," I says. "Everybody seems pretty 
contented here. Tha only miserable people in the 
house," I says, "are the people we are working for 
and that is their own fault," I says. "I'm perfectly 
satisfied," I says. 

He gave me a look of disgust. 

"Satisfied !" he cries. "Satisfied like the dumb brute 
that does not know his own wretched lot," he says. 
"Rise up ! Be a man ! Cast off your shackles and " 

"Look here," I says, trying to calm him, "Wot is 
the matter with you? Wot is it you want?" I says. 

"Want!" he says, "I want to remove the inequality 

90 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

and injustice in the world. I want the happyness 
fairly distributed," he says. 

''But I am happier than Mrs. Carter now," I says, 
"I don't want her money." 

"O," he says, "you are a yokel," he says. "It is 
their power," he says. "It should be wrenched from 
them." 

"I don't want any of their power," I says. 

"You are a bond slave to these rich," he cries. 

"Well," I says, losing patience, "if you don't like 
your job go and get one at the same wages elsewhere 
that you like any better." 

"That is not the point," he says. "The good things 
of life are not equally divided," he says. 

"Why not?" I says. "Wot are they? Good health, 
wholesome food, peaceful rest, and enough work to 
keep you out of mischief. I admit you haven't got 
your share of that," I says. "I wouldn't change with 
any man, least of all a miserable millionaire." 

"Ah!" he says, ignoring my argumentum. "The 
millionaires! These people for whom you slave are 
vulgar hupstarts, cheap parvenoos, unworthy to eat 
at the same table with honest men!" 

"Now see here," I says, getting hot. "Keep your 
hair on," I says, "and don't call names, for while you 
are taking their money and eating their bread you had 
better keep a civil tongue in your head!" 

"You don't understand," he says, quite red, "I'm 

91 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

not a servant. I am Alan Adair, the sociologist and 
novelist wot disclosed the frightful conditions existing 
in the candy trade," he says. 

"I don't care who you are when you are at home or 
in quod," I says. "Or how many books you have 
written. If you can't clean a teapot any better than 
that," I says, "you had better go back to writing," 
and I sticks it into his hands. "Now you can sit down 
and rub orf those finger marks or you can go to the 
housekeeper and get your time and clear out," I says. 

Well, he was that shirty he threw the cloth on the 
floor, and went hupstairs and got his bag and left, and 
that was the last time I ever saw him, but I heard 
arfter wards he wrote a story telling how badly under- 
paid servants was, and in wot orful unhealthy condi- 
tions they had to work, and how stoopid and immoral 
they all were. But the truth is they are better paid 
and keep in better health than any other working 
people I know, and as for their being stoopid — well — 
of course there are exceptions. 

Now as far as I can make out giving a ball is the 
ultimatum bonum of being rich and is accepted as 
being the greatest pleasure one can give one's self or 
others in society. So if you want to know just how 
much real pleasure or happyness money gives to people 
the way lo do 13 > ; tal : one of the things riches can 
bring and annylize it and find out. A ball costs more, 
takes more getting ready and is more talked about than 

92 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

anything, so it is fair to take it as a sample. Now 
how much real pleasure does it give to anybody? 

The last ball Mrs. Carter gave cost over $5000 for 
flowers and the walls was entirely covered with roses 
and there were summer houses in each corner of the 
room, and I opened personal nineteen cases of cham- 
pagne. Wot the favors cost I hate to think of, and 
when it is all over wot is there left but Mrs. Carter and 
Miss Harriet wondering whether Mrs. So-and-So 
really was sick and couldn't come or just nasty and 
whether it really was a success or not. Generally the 
best Miss Harriet can say is that she had plenty of 
partners (which ought to be the case in her own house) 
and to ask wot any man can see in that Benson girl 
anyhow. She is always comparing the time she has 
just had with the time some other girl has had and 
criticising people, and I don't see why if she does not 
like them she pays out her mother's money to enter- 
tain them. And next day everybody is cross except 
Miss Patricia who is out in the Park riding her horse 
just as early as usual and as if nothing had happened. 

Now Mrs. Carter's balls is the principal thing she 
does to have a good time. But if anything is certain 
in this life it is that she has a miserable time at her 
own balls. So far as I can see out of the five or six 
hundred people who come about twenty really enjoy 
themselves and it costs, I have heard Mr. Carter say, 
between 12 and $15,000 before it is over, and I should 

93 



THE BUTLER'S STORY / 

say that the average woman who goes to a ball in New 
York has a pretty anxious and unpleasant time and a 
headache next day. But if they want to go it is none 
of my business. Giving balls may be a recognized 
form of pleasure but it is in most cases a good deal 
more like agony. The only ones who are sure to have 
a good time are the young men who don't dance unless 
they feel like it and who spend the rest of the time 
drinking champagne and smoking in the dressing room. 
And 'how they roast Mrs. Carter and Miss Harriet! 
My eye ! It would make them want to go into a mon- 
astery if they heard it! The moral of which all is 
that there are a lot of kinds of pleasure that are really 
not pleasure at all but only expense and worry. I fancy 
the only reason Mrs. Carter wants to give balls is be- 
cause other swell ladies give them and not because she 
really likes to. One of the first rules of having a good 
time is not to try to enjoy yourself doing something 
you don't like or are not cut out for. Mrs. Carter is 
more cut out for wearing a gingham apron and mak- 
ing jam. 

Whenever I go to a ball, which is but seldom, I and 
the men and girls go to dance and we pay the small 
price of a ticket and dance until we are tired of it and 
go home and that is the end of it, but when Mrs. Carter 
gives a ball there is no end to it at all, for some people 
decline the invitation and then you would think Mrs. 
Carter would like to commit murder and Miss Harriet 

94 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

arson. Then there is the greatest excitement trying 
to get the right gentleman to lead the cotillion, for if 
you do not get the right one in New York it is a terri- 
ble fo par, and may be he is sick and don't want to 
and anyhow the anxiety is orful. Well, then arfter 
all the money is spent and everything is ready there is 
the fear lest it will not go orf with just the right kind 
of a swing and Mrs. Carter is driving everybody to 
death till past twelve o'clock until it gets fully started. 
If you have the idea that people go to balls in New 
York to have a good time you would only have to go 
once to change your mind. In the first place nothing 
in the world is dismaller than a house just before a 
ball is going to be given in it. All the lights has been 
lit ever since eight o'clock and the carpet has been 
laying out across the sidewalk and the wind roaring 
up through the shaking old awning every time you 
go to answer the front door. The family scuttles 
through their dinner to have a hairdresser do their 
hair and the florists' men are finishing up the last 
touches in the ballroom. There are flowers every- 
where but everybody looks so doleful it might as well 
be a funeral if you did not know different. Then 
about ten o'clock the band arrives and sits around and 
acts bored and as if they wanted to smoke, and the 
extra hired footmen comes and loiters in the front hall. 
Everybody has been asked for ten o'clock and no one 
is expected until twelve but you have to be ready in 

95 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

case they make a mistake. By ten o'clock you and 
the other men are all lined up in the front hall, and 
the bobby from the station house and the carriage men 
are hanging around the end of the awning chaffing 
the people that want to peek in. The band tunes up 
and gives a sample bar or two and then relapses. The 
maids and valets are dawdling on the staircases, and 
the caterer and his men have been there since six o'clock 
raising an orful mess. Well, we crack a few jokes 
among ourselves for the first harf hour or so and 
then there is a rustle on the stairs and down comes 
Mrs. Carter and we all slips up on our feet and act 
respectful. 

Usually she is dressed to kill with her hair bulged 
out behind and in front like a sofa pillow and a white 
plume with a diamond dandling on top of it in the 
middle of her head, and she comes strutting along like 
she was afraid she would break and takes a look 
around to see everything is all right. 

"Is everything prepared?" she says to me. (She 
always says is things *' prepared'' on state occasions.) 

"Yes, Madam," I says. 

"Well," she says, "Open that window. I am afraid 
it is going to be too hot ! See to it. Ridges, that the 
rooms do not get too hot !" she says. 

"Very good. Madam," I says. 

Then she takes a peek at the ballroom and says : 

96 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

"I hope you did not put too much wax on the floor," 
she says. 

*'No, Madam.'* 

*'What is the matter with that orchestra?" she says. 
"Why don't it play?" 

"I suppose, Madam, they do not think you wish 
them to play before the people arrive," I says. 

"Nonsense," she says, "Tell them to play. Wot 
would anybody think if they came and there wasn't 
any music?" she says. 

So I has to go and tell the band to begin. 

Then Miss Harriet comes down and her mother 
says: 

"Harriet, how is my hair?" 

"All right," says Harriet. "How is my skirt hang- 
ing?" 

"All right," says her mother. "Do you think Peleas 
has got it too far up behind?" she says. 

"No," answers Miss Harriet, "It is good enough. 
Does that place show on my neck?" she says. 

So they keep at it for about harf an hour wondering 
if they are all right while the band plays and all the 
men and maids in the halls get sleepy, and about eleven 
o'clock the first carriage drives up and there is the 
greatest excitement. Everybody goes ascurrying round 
and we men all get in line and when I open the door 
it is only a note from someone who is sorry she can't 
come. 

97 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Well, things begin to get slow again. The band 
keeps on sort of sleepy and all the men is yawning 
and the family is sitting round, looking bored to death 
in the drawing room. Every once in a while Mrs. 
Carter will go to a mirror and fix something and then 
she will get up and change it back again. It gets to 
be eleven, and a harf arfter, and five and forty min- 
utes arfter and we are about ready to fall asleep when 
before you know it someone is standing at the front 
door trying to get in and there is nobody there to open 
it. I says "S-sh-sh!" and they all jump into their 
places and James he scurries up and opens the door 
and in waddles old lady Gresham — leastwise that is 
wot Miss Harriet calls her — and she sails along by us 
looking very haughty and so on hupstairs before she 
finds out she is the first one, and then she hangs around 
in the dressing room feeling of the stuff the hangings 
is made of and wondering how much it cost a yard — 
anyhow that is wot Evelyn says and she knows her 
of old. In a few minutes more everybody begins 
streaming in together and the band hits it up lively 
and the young fellows collect on the landing to see 
if the girls they is sweet on has got there yet, and one 
by one the people begin to come down buttoning their 
gloves and trying to look unconscious. 

Of course I am standing by the drawring room door 
and as fast as they reach the threshold I asks their 
names and announces them proper and it would make 

98 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

you laugh to see how many of them will blush when 
their names is called out, but most of them put on 
plenty of side and sail along quite au naturel, and the 
dresses beats anything I ever saw in England. Well, 
there is a great to-do in the room where Mrs. Carter 
is receiving her guests but it is orful quiet everywhere 
else because they are all afraid to go into the ballroom 
and sit there lest no one will ask them to dance, and 
all the daybutantes get in a clump by one door and 
keep everybody else out, and the people who do not 
know anybody go walking around in a circle as if they 
were particular anxious to find somebody, and now is 
the time for all the bores to anchor on to other people 
because there is no chance to get away from them. 
The crowd in the drawring room gets bigger and bigger 
and the noise is orful and there is the band playing 
away like mad and no one dancing and Miss Harriet 
is nearly crazy and answering "Yes, yes ! Indeed ! Is 
it possible!" to the old codger who is talking to her 
although she does not hear a word he says. Well, the 
young men are all up on the landing waiting for things 
to liven up before they come down, and it looks as if 
no one was ever going to begin to dance, and just as 
Miss Harriet is beckoning to me frantic to do some- 
thing down comes Mr. Amos and I shouts his name 
and he winks at me as he goes in and says : 

"Ridges, General Sherman said war was hell, but 
he should have seen this!" 

99 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

And before you can say Jack Robinson Mr. Amos 
has Miss Harriet out swinging her around the hall 
and most of the young girls has squeezed in and begin 
to take seats and in five minutes more the floor is full 
of couples, and when Mr. Amos stops another young 
man wants a chance at Miss Harriet and so he goes 
and talks to Mrs. Carter and she says : 

"I don't know how we should get on without you !'* 

And this is where I get a chance to see wot kind 
of chaps some of the young men are who come to our 
house, for most of them only dance with the girls 
whose mothers have big houses and can entertain them, 
and they will walk right by others that they know 
very well and never look at them. So that some few 
girls are dancing every few minutes and others are not 
asked to dance at all. Evelyn says she has seen lots 
of pretty young girls slip out of the ballroom and go 
hupstairs and sit in the dressing room until it is time 
for the carriages, and she says she knows some of 
them are crying although they pretend to be looking 
at the photographs. Now Mr. Amos makes a busi- 
ness of being nice to everybody and if all the young 
men were like him every girl would have a good time, 
but they are not, so a lot of mothers rise up and call 
him blessed when it is time to go home. 

But usually by the time the cotillion begins the girls 
who are not having a good time, have sense enough 
to go away and the crowd thins out and the people 

100 




>> 

s 



ON MONEY AND HAPPINESS 

that are left really begin to enjoy themselves. And 
then Mr. Amos dances all he wants with Miss Patricia 
and gives her all his favors. Wot a couple they make 
to be sure ! How I wish they could hit it orf together, 
but I see no signs of it although they are the very best 
of friends. 

You should see the favors that Mrs. Carter gives 
at her ball ! It really is a sin with all the poverty there 
IS in the world, and yet, as Mr. Amos says, it makes 
no difference because if she didn't spend it that way 
she would leave it to lie in the bank. She has gold 
cigarette cases and opera glasses and gold pencils and 
jewelled watch fobs and gold headed canes for the 
men, and parasols and real lace fans and chatylanes 
for the ladies. Most of them cost twenty-five dollars 
or more apiece and some of them go orf with as many 
as twenty which is ekal to five months of my wages. 
Well they keep it up until three o'clock or later and 
then gradually everybody goes except about six who 
are bound to stay until the last minute. And then 
they comes tumbling out of the drawring room and 
shakes hands with Mrs. Carter and tells her wot a fine 
time they have had and the band begins to pack up 
and wonder if they could have a sandwich and a glass 
of champagne before they go. The hired footmen 
hang around hoping that Mr. Carter will do the hand- 
some thing by them, which he always does, and the 
maids come down into the pantry to see if they can 

lOI 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

get some patty foy grass, and there is an orrid smell 
of tobacco smoke all up the front stairs and on the 
landings and in the hall, and pieces of tissue paper 
and withered flowers everywhere to say nothing of 
broken favors and the young lady whose carriage has 
not come or got tired of waiting and has to be sent 
home in a cab. Then Mrs. Carter and Miss Harriet 
flops down on the sofas and puts their feet up and 
loosens their dresses, and when the last carriage has 
gone and only Mr. Amos is left Mr. Carter sends me 
for cigars and he lights a big one and says : 
"Thank God that is over !" 



102 



VI 

I TURN DETECTIVE 

Things continued happy at our house for several 
days arfter that "Toledo Tube" dinner. Mr. Carter 
said he was going to have a new picture painted to be 
called "All's Well That Ends Well" or "Fools Rush 
in Where Hangels Fear to Tread," and Mrs. Carter 
went down to a jewellery store on Fifth Avenue and 
bought a pearl necklace for herself and a diamond 
dog collar for Miss Harriet that cost together thirty- 
five thousand dollars, and whenever I saw them on 
their necks I would wonder regular how far I had 
been unconscious instrumental in the success of Mr. 
Carter's coop. But it did not last long. Friday night 
while the family was at the opera Mr. Tom rang the 
bell and when he passed me in the hall he looked that 
white and aggard that I was quite hupset. He saw 
me fast enough and gave me an ugly look that meant 
no good. 

"I'll wait," he says, "until the family comes home," 
he says. "Bring me some whisky." 

So I had James serve him in the library and I left 

103 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

him there walking around 1h.e room muttering to 
hisself. 

It was almost quarter arfter twelve when the family 
returned and when I told Mrs. Carter that Mr. Tom 
was there she was still so full of her and Miss Harriet's 
necklace that she couldn't think of anything else and 
rushed right in to him and shouted: 

'*0 Tom! Have you seen the lovely necklace your 
father gave me, and the one he gave Harriet?" 

"Very pretty," grunts Mr. Tom. 

"They cost thirty-five thousand dollars," she says, 
rather annoyed at his not showing any more enthu- 
siasm. 

"Sinful waste !" he growls, turning away and repeat- 
ing, "Thirty-five thousand dollars !" 

"Wot is the matter, dear?" says his mother, sort 
of anxious. "Don't you feel well?" 

"O, I'm all right," he says, "Only I'm not particu- 
larly interested in geegaws," he says. 

Well, Mrs. Carter was very much put out at the 
way Mr. Tom spoke to her so she simply walked out 
of the room without even saying good-night and left 
her husband with him. Neither of them said anything 
for some time, except Mr. Tom went on smoking and 
pouring down whisky and soda. 

"Wot's the matter with you ?" says his father finally. 

"If you must know it, I'm cleaned out!" answers 
Mr. Tom very short. 

104 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

"Wot! Again!" says his father. "You promised 
me on your sacred honor not to touch a card or sell 
or buy a share of stock !" he says. 

"Well," says Tom, "the fact is I got a gilt-edged 
tip to buy Toledo Tube last Wednesday, and the infor- 
mation seemed so good that I just took a chance and 
bought a thousand shares at 70. You know where 
it went?" 

"Yes," says his father, looking queer. "Where did 
you get out?" 

"At 35," says Tom. "It was at 43 when I put in 
my order to sell but it was going down so fast that I 
was lucky to get out when I did. There was some 
crooked work there, I'll bet!" 

"How's that!" cries his father getting red. "Wot 
do you mean by crooked work!" 

"O, you know as well as I do. Some bunco man 
just gold-bricked the market, that's all!" 

Mr. Carter was getting that angry I knew some- 
thing would happen and happen quick. 

"Well," he says very sharp, "I suppose you think 
all you have to do is to come around and get your 
money back from me! Let me tell you I'll not give 
you a cent! You have broken your solemn promise 
and now that you have made your bed you can lie on 
it!" he says, pounding the arm of the chair. 

Mr. Tom had grown very white. 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"You don't mean that you won't help me !" he says, 
sort of stammering. 

"I mean just that !" says Mr. Carter. 

'Then I'm ruined!" gasps Mr. Tom. 

*'Look here," shouts his father, "I think it's about 
time for a understanding between us two," he says. 
*T've paid your debts and supported you for the last 
thirty-five years with hardly a word of thanks. You 
think you are too good for your father and mother 
and sister because you have a few smart friends that 
let you pay for their dinners and cocktails and you 
don't even live at home because our society ain't good 
enough for you. You lie around all day in your swell 
club and talk about women and champagne and race 
horses. Three months ago I gave you twenty-five 
thousand dollars which was to do you for a year. You 
swore by all that was holy that if I paid your last 
losses you'd never play the market again. Now look 
at you ! To think I should ever have had such a son ! 
This time you can shift for yourself. You can pay 
orf your indebtedness by degrees and meantime you 
can go to work." 

*'Do you mean that?" asks Mr. Tom. 

**You bet I mean it!" says his father. 

For a moment they glared at each other without 
speaking. Then Mr. Tom says with a sneer : 

''Do you intend to forbid me the house?" 

"Not at all!" says his father. "You can always 

io6 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

make your home with us so long as you remain 
straight." 

'Thanks, I'm sure," says Tom. ''Do I understand 
you won't let me have a single dollar to pay an honest 
debt?" he says. 

"Do you call buying stocks you can't pay for hon- 
est?" asks his father. 

"It's as honest as any other Wall Street business," 
says Tom. 

"O, do you think so!" says his father, "Well, I 
don't! No, I won't give you a copper cent," he says. 
"From this time on you can earn your own living." 

Mr. Tom gave him one look and ground his teeth. 

"I might have known it !" he says. And with that 
he turns and walks out of the door. 

"Give me my coat !" he says to me in the hall. 

"Yes, sir," I says. 

"Keep a civil tongue in your head!" he snarls, "or 
something may happen to you !" 

"Very good, sir," says I very quiet. 

Then he cursed me and went down the steps and I 
could hear him muttering to hisself, "Thirty-five 
thousand dollars! Thirty-five thousand dollars!" 

Although there was going to be a great party a sort 
of gloom settled down over the house arfter that, for 
while Mr. Tom did not come back, two or three times 
lawyers called to see Mr. Carter in the library and 
there was always high words before they came away. 

107 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Miss Patricia started to take a course in trained nurs- 
ing and that kept her so busy most of the time that 
she was never in when anybody called and Mr. Potts 
never came at all. Downstairs things went on about 
as usual. Evelyn managed to pump Eliza about the 
dinner and before she got through found out all about 
"T. T." and my two thousand dollars. But she seemed 
to think it was too bad I was never to get the money, 
which it was made clear I shouldn't when I got the 
check back from the bank marked **No funds" and a 
letter from the Receiver in Bankruptcy saying that I 
was scheduled for two thousand dollars but he did not 
have very favorable hopes of any dividend being paid. 
But I thought I noticed a increased respect on the 
part of the other servants, and several who hardly used 
to sound the "Mister" when they spoke to me pro- 
nounce it now quite audible. 

About this time Master Willie came home from 
school and began to make things lively and everybody 
miserable, for he would get up at seven o'clock and 
come down stairs to breakfast, which is most incon- 
venient. But I fixed it so his coffee should be kept 
hot from the servants' table and he thought it was 
fine and a great deal better than wot he got at school. 
My eye! but he is smart! He is most as clever as 
Miss Patricia and as wicked as Mr. Tom, only in a 
perfectly good-natured way. He and Miss Patricia 
are the greatest chums and she takes him to the matinay 

io8 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

with other boys who are his friends and you would 
think that they would eat her up. It is funny that she 
does not care much for young gentlemen her own 
age, but with boys she is as free and easy as she can 
be and loves to have them around. Mr. Carter may 
be common but Master Willie is downright vulgar, 
for he says ''Gee!" and ''Golly!" and "Gosh!" right 
out all the time while Mr. Carter only swears occa- 
sional. But Master Willie knows Lating, Greek and 
Algebra and it is astonishing to hear him repeat Shake- 
speare and the Ballad of the Revenge by Tenison. But 
sometimes I can tell by his breath he has been smoking 
cigarettes, and he sticks pins in the men's legs who 
are in knee breeches. One day when I said I smelt 
smoke on him he says: 

"Gosh, Ridges, you make me thing of Snooks." 

"And who may be Snooks?" says I 

"Why Snooks is a master at our school," he says, 
"and if he thinks you have been smoking arfter a 
football game," he says, "he will rush up and grab 
you by the hand and stick his great nose into your 
face and say 'My! But that was a fine tackle you 
made in the first arf !' and then he will sniff hard two 
or three time to see if he can smell anything" 

Well wot happened at the ball was quite orful and 
spoilt it all for everybody who knew about it, which 
was only a few, but when everything was going on 
full swing I happened to go into the coat room to open 

109 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

a window to let in some air. The coat room is in the 
extension and you can see the back of the house from 
it, and just as I looked up I saw a shadow in Mrs. 
Carter's window. 

*That is queer," I says, *T wonder who is in Mrs. 
Carter's room!" 

I am always uneasy about it because she has a little 
safe there with all her jewellery in it. So I thought 
I would go up and see if everything was all right. It 
was about a harf arfter twelve and the ballroom was 
jammed with lots of gentlemen 'standing outside the 
door and couples sitting on the stairs. On the floor 
above are the dressing rooms where the maids and 
valets are, but most everybody uses the elevator. Well, 
it was so crowded outside that I ran up the back stairs 
to the third hall where Mrs. Carter's room is located. 
It was absolutely still up there with no one around, 
only the cigarette smoke and the music came up from 
below, and Mrs. Carter's bedroom door was shut. So 
I turned the knob quiet and opened the door a little. 
Everything seemed all right and I was just going to 
close it again when I noticed a little crack of light in 
the closet. I might as well admit I was scared but 
there was nothing else to do so I crept over and threw 
open the door sudden and there was a man in evening 
dress working at Mrs. Carter's safe. He turned, and 
just as I was going to grab him I saw it was Mr. 
Tom! 

no 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

He turned very white for a minute and then the 
ugliest look came into his face I ever saw. 

"O ho !" he says between his teeth, "It's you, is it !" 

"Yes, Mr. Tom," I says, "it is me." 

"Wot do you propose to do?" he says, " — charge 
me with being a burglar?" he says with a sneer. 

"I shall tell my master you were in your mother's 
bedroom closet trying to open the safe," I says. 

"Come, come," he says, "don't be a fool. No one 
would believe you. Be sensible," he says, "and keep 
your mouth shut." 

"I'm sorry, sir " I began. 

"Please, for God's sake. Ridges !" he whines, coming 
out of the closet, "don't ruin me!" 

I stepped back to allow him to pass and shook my 
head and before I knew wot he was going to do he 
sprang at me and struck me a terrible blow in the 
face that banged my head back against the wall so 
that, everything grew black and then while I was help- 
less I felt another blow and fell to the floor uncon- 
scious. 

I don't know how long it was before I came to my- 
self but when I did I was lying on the floor in Mrs. 
Carter's bedroom and the blood was streaming into 
my eyes and mouth and there was a singing in my 
head. Then I lost consciousness again and artfer a 
while I woke up and crawled to the door, but it was 

III 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

locked on the outside and in trying to open it I fainted 
and when I came to for the third time the room was 
full of people and Miss Patricia was there in her ball 
gown with a sponge and a basin wiping my face. 

"Better not send for the police," I heard Mr. Tom 
say. "The thing should be managed quietly." 

"Good, he's coming to!" said Miss Patricia shoving 
a pillow under my head. "Do you know me. Ridges?" 

"Miss Patricia !" I whispered trying to smile at her. 
Then I grew weak again. 

"Here, take a sip of brandy," she says, holding up 
a glass. Just then Mr. Carter says: 

"That is enough, Patricia, you have done enough 
for him, I think." 

"Wot do you mean?" she says. "Do you intend 
that I shall not look arfter an injured man?" and her 
eyes flashed so that her father says sort of nervous : 

"O, do just as you like!" 

There was a great deal of confusion and I noticed 
that every time they went in and out they had to unlock 
the door, and that Mrs. Carter was walking around 
in her feathers wringing her hands and sort of whim- 
pering. Then there was a low knock on the door and 
Miss Harriet came in with Mr. Ketchem, the family 
lawyer, who had been downstairs at the party, and 
Master Willie who slipped in behind in his pi jamas 
and wrapper. 

"Well, well," says Mr. Ketchem, "This is very un- 

112 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

fortunate ! Carter, I think you had better let me take 
charge here and straighten things out, eh?" 

"I wish you would !" says Mr. Carter, pulling out a 
cigar and biting orf the end and chewing it. 

"Well," says Mr. Ketchem, ''Let us put that man 
on the sofa the first thing." 

The brandy had revived me, so I says, 'T think 
I am able to get up, sir," and with that I crawled to 
my knees. At first Miss Patricia was for making me 
lie down again, and then Mr. Ketchem and Mr. Carter 
harf carried me over to the sofa and laid me down 
on it. 

"Now, Mrs. Carter," says Mr. Ketchem, "there 
is nothing to worry about. Your jewellery is quite 
safe and you have guests to be attend to. May I sug- 
gest that you take a drink of some stimulant and go 
downstairs? Try and calm yourself." 

So Mrs. Carter took a little brandy which made her 
cough and went out. That left Mr. Carter, Mr. 
Ketchem, Miss Patricia, Miss Harriet, Mr. Tom and 
Master WiUie in the room. It is very spacious and 
the fire was smouldering cheerful and I began to feel 
sleepy and wonder if James would have the sense to 
open another case of champagne, and I heard Mr. 
Ketchem say: 

"We might as well find out exactly how this thing 
happened before any stories get about," he says. "As 

"3 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

for you, Ridges, remember that if you make a move 
to leave the room you will be arrested and locked up." 

"Very good, sir," I muttered, feeling very seedy and 
not understanding why he should talk that way to me. 

He fumbled in his pocket and took out some envel- 
opes and a gold-headed pencil and then he told the 
ladies to sit down and he sat down hisself. 

Miss Harriet took a seat orf in the corner by the 
door and kept saying "O dear!" and **Dear me!" and 
acting like a silly sheep. 

"Now," he says, says he, turning to Mr. Tom, 
"please tell me exactly wot occurred." 

Well, that woke me up, I can tell you, and I listened 
as hard as I could while Mr. Tom told most circum- 
stantial how he had just come out of the coat room 
on the second floor when he saw me slip hupstairs and 
start toward his mother's bedroom. He knew, he said, 
that Mrs. Carter had just purchased a valuable neck- 
lace and he thought he would find out wot I was doing 
hupstairs when I ought to be in the hall receiving the 
guests. He hurries arfter me, he says, and sees me 
enter the room and go toward the closet. Then he 
waits while I go fumbling at the safe. He calls to me 
that I am under arrest and I turn and suddenly attack 
him and he knocks me down and locks me in the room 
and gives the alarm to Mr. Carter. 

Mr. Ketchem had been getting everything down on 
the back of an envelope. 

114 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

'Tt*s false!" I shouts trying to get up on my feet. 
*Tt's a lie!" 

"Shh !" says Miss Patricia, shaking her head at me. 

**You will have your turn," remarks Mr. Ketchem 
very severe. *'Keep quiet and sit down." 

So I did. But it was wonderful to hear that Tom 
lie! 

"Now," says Mr. Ketchem, "a few questions of 
you, sir," and he turns to Mr. Carter. 

"How many people have the combination of this 
safe?" he asks. 

"Only my wife and Eliza Thomas her maid," says 
Mr. Carter. 

"Ha!" says Mr. Ketchem, writing it down, "Eliza 
Thomas — where does she come from?" 

"Ask Ridges !" interrupts Mr. Tom. "I gHess that 
explains how he got the combination of the safe." 

"O!" I gasps, "wot a " 

"Hold your tongue !" says Ketchem. 

"Can't you make that man keep still!" shouts Miss 
Harriet. 

"Wait, Ridges," said Miss Patricia. "You'll have 
your chance." 

"How long has the man worked for you?" he asks 
of Mr. Carter very impressive. 

"Nine years," he says. 

"Faithfully, so far as you know?" says he. 

"Yes, so far as I know," he says. 

"5 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

"In any trouble as you know of?" says he. 

"Not that I know of," he says. 

"Hm!" says Ketchem writing it down. 

"Now," turning to me, "get up there and tell us your 
side of it and take care you tell us the truth." 

"He is not strong enough to stand, let him sit here 
on the sofa," says Miss Patricia summat indignant. 

"O, very well," says Ketchem. "Only go ahead.*' 

"Well," I says, "I saw the shadow on the window 
when I was in the coat room and I went up, and Mrs. 
Carter's door was closed and I opened it and saw a 
crack of light in the closet. It was Mr. Tom that was 
there. He didn't find me there at all. When," I says, 
"I discovered who it was in there, he begged me to 
say nothing and then he took me orf my guard and 
knocked me down and left me there." 

"O!" gasps Miss Patricia. 

"How can he tell such a lie !" says Miss Harriet. 

"Hm!" says Mr. Ketchem, "So you are going to 
try to put it on a member of the household are you? 
You had better think twice," he says. "You will suffer 
all the more for it," he says. 

"Well, it is the truth," I says, "I can't change that." 

"Hm!" says Ketchem, "This is very awkward. Of 
course the man is l3^ng, but it will make a nasty story 
for the papers." 

"O," says Mr. Carter, "after all these years! I 

ii6 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

never would have believed it ! Ridges how could you 
doitr 

"I didn't, sir," I says. 

"Tom," says Miss Patricia suddenly, "was the doof 
of the room open or closed when you came down the 
hall?" 

"Closed," says Mr. Tom with a smile. "Of course 
he closed it arfter him so no one would see wot he 
was up to." 

"Didn't you say you could look into the room and 
see him going toward the closet?" she says. 

"No-o-o," says Tom trying to think. 

"Yes you did! Yes you did!" says Ketchem. "I 
have it all down on this envelope. T saw Ridges enter 
the room and go toward the closet,' you says." 

"Well, if I said it, it was so," says Tom sort of 
nervous. 

"Then if you could see Ridges going toward the 
closet how could the door be closed?" asked Miss 
Patricia. Well, something warm come into my heart 
for I saw she was on my side. 

Mr. Tom hesitated. 

"I mean he started for the closet— of course he was 
intending to go to the closet," says he. 

"But how do you know," she persists, "if the door 
was between you?" 

"O hell," he says, "I don't remember exactly how 

"7 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

it was, but I saw him go in and I opened the door and 
went in arfter him !" 

"Hm!" says Ketchem, a-writing of it down. 

"You say Ridges attacked you?'* asks Miss Patricia. 

"He did/' says Tom. 

"He is bigger and heavier than you," says she. 
"How was it he didn't hit you?" she says. 

"I was too quick for him !" he says scowling at her. 
"Say," he adds, "wot are you trying to do? Make 
me out a Har?" 

"Not at all," she says, "I'm only trying to find out 
the truth." 

"Hm !" says Ketchem, "Is there anything you wish 
to add to your testimony?" turning to me. 

"Mr. Thomas had a small piece of paper in his 
hand," I says, "when he turned around in the closet, 
if that is anything," I says. 

Mr. Ketchem wrote it down. 

"Let's look for it," says Miss Patricia. 

"Patricia!" cried her father, "Do you mean to in- 
sinuate that your brother is not telling the truth? I 
am surprised at you." 

But Miss Patricia was already on her hands and 
knees looking under the bed and by the closet door, 
only Mr. Tom who was sitting right there made no 
move to help and glared as if he would like to bite 
her. Then she came back and sat down by me again. 

ii8 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

"It is gone," she whispered. "Where can it be? 
O, it's all too dreadful!" 

"This is awkward!" repeated Mr. Ketchem. "It 
is word against word. We really ought to have some 
corroborative evidence. You say that this Thomas 
woman had the combination of the safe. ,Send for 
her," he says. "We might as well get her testimony 
now as later." 

"She will lie to shield Ridges !" sneered Tom. 

"Well, we will nail her testimony now so she cannot 
change it later anyway," says Ketchem. 

So Eliza was rung for and she came up terrible 
flustered and nervous. 

"Now," says Mr. Ketchem standing her up all alone 
by herself in the middle of the floor, "tell the truth. 
Did you ever tell anybody the combination of your 
mistress's safe?" 

Now Eliza was so scared she did not see me at all 
and she did not know wot it was all about but just 
looked from one to the other of them beseeching and 
for a minute she didn't answer. Then she said in a 
very low voice : 

"Yes, I did," she says. 

Miss Patricia was looking hard at Mr. Tom. 

"Hm!" says Ketchem. "To whom, if you please?" 

Tom was glaring at Eliza like he would hipnotize 
her and she caught his eye and sort of trembled and 

119 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Miss Patricia saw that too. Then Eliza looked down 
at the floor and says : 

"Mr. Thomas Carter." 

"Wot!'' shouted Mr. Carter. "Don't lie, woman, 
or we'll have you in jail too!" 

"It's an infernal falsehood!" yelled Mr. Tom. "I 
have hardly spoken to the girl in my life!" 

"Gently! Gently!" says Ketchem. "Everything in 
its place and one thing at a time. Now, m|y girl, 
don't be afraid. Tell us how you came to confide this 
to Mr. Thomas, as you say?" 

"It was at the theatre," says Eliza, sort of choking. 
"He said he loved me and was going to marry me 
and he had given me a beautiful necklace and a bokay, 
and we were sitting in a box and watching the play. 
There was a safe on the stage and a fat little man, 
who was pretending to be a burglar, made a great fuss 
about opening it and when at last he got it open there 
was only a coal hod with some coal in it. Everybody 
laughed and Mr. Tom said he never met anybody yet 
who could remember a safe combination without writ- 
ing it down, and I said I could and he bet me a dozen 
pair of new long gloves that I couldn't. So I told 
him." 

"Hm!" says Ketchem. "You say this is all a lie, 
Mr. Carter?" 

"Absolutely," gasps Tom. "She is making every 
word of it up." 

120 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

"Let us see," says Mr. Ketchem. "Did you ever 
give this young woman a necklace?'* 

"I did not !" says Tom. 

"Or take her to the theatre?" 

"Never!" says Tom. 

"Wot play do you claim he took you to?" ask 
Ketchem. 

"To the Herald Square," says Eliza. "And he did, 
too! I'm astonished he won't say so." 

"When do you say it was?" 

"November 27th, — of a Thursday," says Eliza. 

"Hm ! Have you still got the necklace ?" 

"Indeed I have!" says Eliza. 

"Fetch it here," says Ketchem. 

All this time Mr. Tom had been getting more and 
more uneasy but he kept sitting down in the same 
positicm and never moving. 

"Do you mind turning orf that light?" asks Miss 
Patricia of him pointing to one across the room. 

"O, leave it alone, can't you !" he growls, then turn- 
ing to Mr. Ketchem he says, "How much longer are 
you going to let this woman slander me? Is the pro- 
duction of a bit of jewellery going to prove that I gave 
it to her or that I am a liar or a safe-cracker?" 

"We must give everybody a chance," says Mr. 
Ketchem. "That is only fair," says he. 

Pretty soon Eliza came back with the necklace and 
gave it to Mr. Ketchem, who took it and held it up. 

121 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"Hm!" he says, "A pretty good imitation! Now 
you say Mr. Carter gave you this?" 

"I do indeed," says Eliza. 

"And you say this is all a lie?" asks Ketchem of 
Tom. 

*T most certainly do," says Tom, quite red. 

"Very awkward!" says Ketchem, *'Very awkward 
indeed ! Wot do you make of it. Carter?" 

"It looks like a conspiracy to rob the house and put 
it on my son," says Mr. Carter, but he didn't say it 
very confident like, and he looked all broke up. 

"Tom," says Miss Patricia, "will you swear to me 
on your honor as a gentleman and by God's holy word 
that wot Eliza says is false?" 

"I will," says he bold as brass, "every word of it. 
I'll swear by anything you like." 

"Then," says Miss Patricia, "you are not telling 
the truth, for you were at the theatre with Eliza just 
as she says." 

"Wot!" stammered Tom, turning white. 

"For I saw you," continues Miss Patricia, "in the 
back of the lower right-hand box." 

"You — ^you're mistaken!" stammered Tom. 

"No, I am not!" she replied. "I dare you to get 
up and face Eliza and deny wot she says." 

"Wot's that!" sneered Tom, "Some stage trick! 
Why should I get up ? Wot do you mean. I tell you 
she lies." 

122 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

"Hm!" says Ketchem. "You decline to do as your 
sister asks?" 

Tom turned very red and then white. 

"I do— decline!" he says. "It's unnecessary!" 

I saw Miss Patricia whisper to Master Willie and 
Mr. Ketchem looked very hard at Mr. Tom. 

Old Mr. Carter simply bit his lips. 

Then all of a sudden Mr. Tom moved his leg and 
bent over very sudden. 

"Look there!" cries Master Willie and before you 
could say Jack Robinson he had grabbed up a little 
piece of paper that had been under Mr. Tom's foot all 
the time. 

"Wot are you doing?" yelled Tom. "I don't know 
wot that paper is. I never saw it before!" But his 
voice sort of petered out at the end. Master Willie 
handed it to Mr. Ketchem who read it aloud: 

"Safe 
"31-3-13^' 

"That is the combination of the safe," says Eliza. 

"And that is the same paper he had in his hand 
when I came in," I says. 

Miss Patricia looked very tired and sad. 

"It's all right, Ridges," she says, "I knew you were 
telling the truth." 

"Do you recognize the writing on this paper ?" says 
Ketchem handing it to Mr. Carter. 

123 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Mr. Carter took it and bent his head. 

"It's Tom's," he says. "O, my God!'" 

''Yes," says Master Willie, "and I saw Tom go into 
the room about five minutes before Ridges came up 
and shut the door arfter him, and then I saw Ridges 
come up!" 

"Hey!" says Ketchem. "Wot's that? Where were 
you?" 

"I was up on the landing all alone," says Willie. 
"I got out of bed to listen to the music." 

"Well, I'm !" says Mr. Ketchem. "Wot have 

you got to say to that?" looking at Mr. Tom. 

Then Mr. Tom got up all of a sudden all shaking 
and very pale. 

"Wot's the use !" he hissed out. "Yes, I was arfter 
the jewels. I admit it. And I took Eliza to the theatre, 
but I never did her, and I never meant her, any harm. 
As for the jewels I had a right to take 'em." 

"O, Tom !" groaned his father. 

"I'll never speak to you again !" cried Harriet. "Wot 
a beast. You might have taken my dogcollar!" 

Mr. Tom he was standing in the middle of the floor, 
with his hair rumpled and his eyes red and glassy. 

"Yes," he says, "They're my jewels bought with my 
money," says he. "I've found out about this dirty 
*T. T.' business and how you and O'Connor boosted 
the market to get in the suckers. And you got $35,000 
belonging to me! You cheated your own son along 

124 



I TURN DETECTIVE 

with the rest. Who's the crook, I'd like to know? 
I leave it to you, Ketchem. Who's the biggest thief — 
my father or me? And you even used your servant 
to deceive a lot of helpless boys around in a broker's 
office. Honesty! Honesty! I'm through with the 
whole rotten business. I'm sick of seeing the money 
spait in this house. I'm sick of my own silly exist- 
ence!" He puts his hands over his face and sobbed. 

Mr. Carter had sunk down into his chair so he 
looked like a poor old man, and everything looked 
sort of blurred to me, and I heard Miss Patricia say: 

"Eliza, will you look arfter Ridges, please? And 
see that he gets safely to his room?" 

"Yes, Miss!" says Eliza, and with Mr. Ketchem's 
assistance I got to my feet, and she put her arm around 
me and helped me through the door, but my head was 
that whirly I didn't notice much just then and I don't 
know how I got hupstairs. 

And that was the last I ever saw of Mr. Tom. 



125 



VII 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

It has sometimes occurred to me that it is better 
to be a first-class servant than a second-class swell. 
I am sure Mr. Amos would say so, for he is a philos- 
opher and likewise a man of letters. To be both of 
these is to be rich indeed, for with books we hardly 
have need of friends, and with philosophy we have need 
of nothing. Yet many has to make a show of being 
"smart," as it is sometimes called, who was clearly 
intended by God and nature for some different or 
lower order, yet being born into wealth they are com- 
pelled to spend useless lives trying to appear to be wot 
they are not when they might be happy as the wives 
and husbands of hard-working men and women. 

For example, Miss Harriet. She has enough sense 
to run a small flat and keep track of the ice and milk 
bills, and she would make a hit as the Lady President 
of the Female Literary Circle of some small town in 
the provinces, but she has no more idea of real gentility 
nor harf so much as Aunty Morgan who has lived in 
many of the best American families and is a good deal 
of a lady herself. But Miss Harriet spends to my 

126 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

knowledge, because Eliza told me, hup wards of seven 
thousand a year for her clothes and loses about a 
hundred and fifty a week at Bridge, and has dyspepsia 
four days out of seven. She is handsome in the way 
the girls is handsome that carry the spears in the front 
row at the Hippydrome and James is quite stuck on 
her, but she has not harf as much chance of marrying 
a gentleman as Evelyn Ra)miond and I guess she knows 
it, for if Evelyn or Eliza was turned loose at one of 
our swarees they would have all the favors. She will 
go on to her big subscription dances and Bridge parties 
and afternoon teas until she is sixty years old and be 
miserable and sour all her life when she would be 
perfectly happy as the wife of an aberdasher in a 
rural village, where she belongs by inheritance. 

Now Miss Patricia was born a swell and Aunty 
Morgan says she was a little lady from the moment 
she was shifted over to the bottle and got a chance. 
You can never tell where the real swells come from or 
where you will find them. 

I have seen sailors on our yacht who were real 
swells, and one of the finest gentlemen who comes to 
the house is the son of a plain farmer in Nova Scotia, 
but I never saw a coachman that I thought was a 
swell, because a coachman looks too much like a carrot, 
although there are grooms who if they was dressed 
proper could do a walking part at one of Mrs. Carter's 
balls, and no one ever know the difference. 

127 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

It is hard to say wot makes a man or a woman a 
swell, but there is something and it does not depend on 
birth, or wealth, or looks, or brains. And while I am 
on it I might as well say that I have concluded that all 
this talk about brains being the only thing that counts 
is rot, for some of the meanest, shoddiest people I know 
has plenty of them, and they are cheap enough in New 
York. Looks have something to do with it although 
a hunchback can be a fine gentleman. Birth may have 
something, but not often in the case of a man. Wealth 
can do a lot, but it cannot make a silk purse out of a 
sow's ear; and brains can help. But it is neither one 
nor the other nor yet all — for a man may have birth, 
wealth, looks and brains and be a rotter It is some- 
thing else and you can call it anything you please, but 
if you haven't got it you might as well give up trying. 
That is one of the chief reasons why all this social 
striving is so useless. People think that being swell 
depends on how much money you have and how many 
houses and motors and so on and so forth, whereas it 
simply turns on whether you are a gentleman or a 
lady in the first place, and maybe you are and maybe 
you are not, and that rests with the Almighty entire. 

But many that have no hope of ever being real swells 
are perfectly content to be near-swells so long as they 
can associate with swell people, and do not care wot 
they really are so long as the world takes them for wot 
they are not. And this desire for social advancement, 

128 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

while you see it everywhere, is worse in America than 
anywhere else because the Americans take everything 
they do so much more serious than other people. I 
have observed that in England and France and Italy, 
when I have been out with Lord Craven, people go into 
society to amuse theirselves and have a good time, and 
whether they do it proper or not they certainly have 
it, but in America the chief object of people is not to 
amuse theirselves but to better their social position and 
they go at it just as strenuous as they build railroads 
or sell stocks. Instead of growing fat and lazy they get 
thin and peevish, and the end of their social career is 
generally in a sanatarium. 

It is extraordinary how many ladies in America, 
who are trying to get on, break down and either go 
mad entire or tempory. I never knew any English 
lady who got that way, and the reason over here is 
that they eat too much and sleep too little and keep on 
the go every minute so as people will know they are 
the real thing, which ten to one they are not at all. And 
they take it so serious no wonder they get only to be 
skin and bones and indigestive. Why, when a lady 
goes to a ball in New York she takes her life in her 
hand. And when a stock-broker has a chance to meet 
a rich swell he sinks his teeth in him so hard you can 
lift him orf his feet and swing him round and he won't 
let go until you throw ice water on his head like a bull- 
dog. 

129 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

There is even a doctor over here as earns his living 
by recuperating ladies who have lost their health 
through nervous indigestion and he makes a pile of 
money, so they say, by merely exploring their stomachs 
with a little electric light and feeding them on pip- 
tonized milk at an hotel. 

It is enough to make you sick to see people toadying 
around to other rich people that they think stand a 
little higher than they do. And it is shocking how 
they will lie to get out of one engagement in order to 
accept another they think is better. I have known Miss 
Harriet to break five engagements one arfter another 
just so as she could go to a sixth which in the end 
was given up by the lady who had sent the invitation 
so that she could accept another herself. So it ended 
by Miss Harriet staying at home and reading a book 
which no fit woman should read, and I was afraid Miss 
Patricia would find it. 

Now I have looked into it careful and have no hesi- 
tation in saying that the number of people in New York 
who feel sure enough of their social position to do 
what they choose and associate with those they like, 
is so small as almost not to count. Everybody does the 
things and cultivates the people that will, as they think, 
help them along. Where ? God knows ! To the poor- 
house, the lunatic asylum and the home for the aged 
and useless rich, I fancy. A butler can see and hear a 
lot that's not spoke in words. It is enough to make 

130 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

your blood boil to see nice people snubbed and slighted 
by their friends for nothing at all. Take one of Mrs. 
Carter's teas. Now she has an old friend "Mamie" 
Jones who comes from Piqua too and who married a 
rich man but is not quite "up to sample," as they say 
over here. Does Mrs. Carter talk to her ? Not much ! 
"O, how dy do," she says quite languid, looking at 
someone else, and then she adds sudden "Excuse me, 
I must speak to Mrs. Castor," and Mrs. Caster is prob- 
ably some high roller, who comes to Mrs. Carter's 
because she amuses her for a week or so. Well, if Mrs. 
Jones had the strength of mind to go home and say 
no more about it you would not blame her. But wot 
does she do? She clings hold of Mrs. Carter's hand 
and says, "O, there is Mrs. Castor to be sure!" she 
says, "Do introduce me, Maria dear!" Well, Mrs. 
Carter is annoyed dreadful, but she cannot refuse be- 
cause she knows if she does Mrs. Jones will spread it 
around that her father's business was really confec- 
tionery with drugs on the side instead of an apothe- 
cary with a candy counter, who is alive yet. And Mrs. 
Jones is looking at her with glistening eyes as much 
as to say, "Don't you dare to refuse. If you do, you 
know what I will do." So Mrs. Carter gets hold of 
Mrs. Castor and says very quick, "Excuse me but I 
have got to introduce Mrs. Jones to you. I can't get 
out of it." Well, Mrs. Castor smiles and says, "Why 
should you? I'm sure I am very glad to meet any of 

131 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

your friends," and Mrs. Carter has no time to ex- 
plain that she is not a friend but only a sort of rela- 
tion and simply has to bite her lips when Mrs. Jones 
comes smirking .up and she clasps the hand of royalty. 
O my! How happy she is! How she thrills! And 
how she gags so she can't speak ! Then orf she rushes 
to make a lot of calls and everywhere she goes she says, 
"As Mrs. Castor said to me this afternoon, the straight 
front is going to be all the rage this year." Now the 
fact that she actually did finally meet Mrs. Castor may 
be the ruin of her and her husband, for soon they may 
be losing their health and stealing trust funds in order 
to take advantage of it. 

And you can mostly see it at dinners. Does people 
invite those they like, or who amuse them or who think 
as they do ? Certain not ! They ask people who will 
invite them in return with sweller people than they 
know now. Do they ask their old friends imth the 
swell people? No, they have got all they can out of 
their old friends and they are not swell enough for the 
new people to meet, and they must not let the swell 
people know that they have any friends except swell 
people, so they ask a lot of folks who are almost 
strangers to them and like enough to each other, and 
the dinner is dull and dismal and dreary. And they 
would die rather than ask a relation. The only use 
of relations in New York is to insult them. 

Now real swells are for the most part simple enough 

132 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

and merely bent on having the best possible time with 
the least amount of trouble. They do not have to 
make a display or do a lot of entertaining, because 
they have nothing to gain by it, so they do as they 
please and associate with the friends they like, and 
their only fault is that they are selfish and lazy. But 
wot chance has Mrs. Carter or anybody else to get to 
know them? None at all — not if she had a hundred 
millions. They don't need her and they don't want her. 
Even if she got to know them she has nothing to offer 
them, and even if she was a lady which she is not, and 
could amuse them for a while, they would drop her 
like a shot just as soon as the newness wore orf. Even 
if they did not drop her they would take no trouble 
about her, for the swells never take any trouble about 
anybody. They may have intimate friends who they 
have known all their life, from childhood up, but 
they never go to see them — the friends are the ones 
who have to do the running and the standing round 
waiting for orders. They never answer letters or in- 
vitations and the only way anyone can find out if they 
are coming to dinner or not is to telephone and see 
if they are in the country, and if not, to inquire if 
they would excuse your asking if they intend to dine 
with you. Probably they will never dine with you 
at all or come to visit you or even call, but they will 
invite you a dozen times and then call it orf if not con- 
venient. If you expect to retain your self-respect put 

133 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

no confidence in them unless you are one of them and 
can answer them back. 

We do a lot of entertaining at our house in town 
but not so much as at The Beeches for it is a fact 
that a lot of people who haven't time to bother much 
with Mrs. Carter in the winter take more interest in 
her as soon as it begins to get hot and uncomfortable in 
the city. And that is the best time to tell whether peo- 
ple are real swells or not, for it is on a house party 
that they has time to show their real character, par- 
ticular so in regard to giving tips to those who have 
waited on them. It is not so much how much they 
give but how they do it, and a woman as Is not a lady 
will show it every time she hands you a five-dollar note. 
Why the way some people give tips is enough to make 
you disgusted with human nature. They act as if they 
was suspected of crime or had left a undiscovered mur- 
der hupstairs in their trunk. People who is quite in- 
dependent at other times look like school children caught 
playing hooky when they have to go and pass me in 
the hall. 

Now a high class servant figures on his tips just 
as much as a cook does on her drippings or a house- 
maid on her outings, and besides it is a sign that the 
guest is satisfied and there is pleasant relations in the 
house between everybody. A real gentleman or a lady 
will always tip you and tip you right, but the people who 
has got their money sudden or isn't used to good society 

134 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

is just as likely to hand you silver as a twenty-dollar 
note or even more so. Now you do not expect silver 
in England except from very young lads or gentlemen 
who cannot afford to bring down their own valets and 
you can be sure of at least ten bob from every one 
who comes down from Friday until Monday. If they 
stay a week instead of over Sunday you will get double 
that, and from talking with other men in service I 
should say that one might expect about the same rates 
in the big houses in this country — ^that is to say two 
or three dollars for each couple or single person over 
the week end. But this does not include bounders and 
rich swells who will never give a butler or groom of 
the chambers less than a guinea in England or a five- 
dollar note in this country, no matter how short their 
stay may be. Of course, with royalty it is different, 
and His Royal Highness gave orders to donate me 
a five-pound note when he stayed at Craven Hall for 
five days, which was handed to me by Mr. Gray Whit- 
ney, his secretary, and I have it yet in the bottom of 
my box. 

Now at some very swell establishments the hupper 
servants put on a good deal of side which I consider 
very bad form, and this is apt to be the case with 
ducal houses, but not royal dukes. I know one fellow 
as used to be a ostler's boy when he was a lad at the 
Blue Peacock Tavern, and who got employment at 
Tattersall's and from that on to the track and in with 

135 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

the breeders and racing people and is now Equerry 
to the Duke of Blenheim. Well, some American peo- 
ple came to visit His Grace and McGuinness (the 
"Equerry") showed them the stables and had a stallion 
trotted round the paddock on the end of a leader for 
them to see, but nothing else; so when they went to 
leave the gentleman thought he would show his ap- 
preciation and offered McGuinness two golden sov., but 
McGuinness waved them aside and shook his head 
with a superior gester and says "No thankee, sir, I 
never touch anything but paper." But the gentleman 
was the right stuff and gave him a good dressing down 
then and there for being a impudent servant and re- 
ported him to His Grace who gave him the sack and 
served him right. 

Now a serving man cares less for what he gets 
than for being remembered and receiving credit as a 
human, and a smile and a pleasant word is often worth 
as much to him when he is feeling down on his luck 
as a gold coin. If he feels that a person cannot but ill 
spare the money he would rather not have it at all, 
and he sometimes does not get it in any case. It is 
surprising how many people rush away at the last 
minute Monday morning and forget to tip anybody, 
and some skulks in their room until no one is around 
and then slips out sudden or goes orf by the veranda 
door. If a man or a woman is mean at heart the 
servant is the one who suffers from it, for they will 

136 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

decide how little they can give you and then cut it in 
harf and then act as if they was being blackmailed 
when they hand it over. Often I would have liked 
to throw their dirty money back at them. 

Once a man who was worth twenty million dollars 
came and stayed ten days with us and gave me a quar- 
ter when he went away, and that is a fact also. I 
have it in my box of curiosities along with one of 
Mr. Hunter's waistcoat buttons with the royal im- 
print, that fell into the soup. 

Now you might think that I was making fun but it 

is only the sad truth, and when all is said and done the 

tips a man gets will never make him a millionaire. In 

a big house he can double his wages spring and autumn 

but it is at an enormous cost to his respect for human 

nature. It has often occurred to me that if some butler 

that knows would only publish a schedule of the tips 

which are usually given and expected in swell houses 

in this country he would be conferring a favor all 

around and I should divide them into classes according 

to the length of the visit, thus : 

Week 
For the Butler Week or Ten Month 

END Days 
Ordinary, Single ladies and gentlemen $2.00 $ 5.00 $10.00 

Ordinary, Married couples 3.00 5-$io io-$iS 

Rich swells, brides and grooms, distin- 
guished foreigners, politicians and 

brokers 5.00 10.00 i5-$25 

Clergy, continental nobility and de- 
cayed relations i.oo 2.50 3.50 

137 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Now the second-man as does your valetting deserves 
as much as the butler and so does the ladies' maid, but 
if you think you have got to tip everybody in the house 
you are entirely mistaken and show you are not to the 
manner born. You should remember (in America) : 

(i) The Butler. 

(2) The valet or maid, if you stay only for the week end; if 

you come for a longer visit you should include, 

(3) The outside man as attends to your luggage, 

(4) The groom of the chambers (if there is any), 

(5) The coachman, and 

(6) The chambermaid. 

Silver will do for the outside man in England and a 
dollar over here. And there you are, and if you go 
throwing your money around anywhere else they will 
think you are from Pittsburgh. 

Once on a Monday morning when we was standing 
in the front hall waiting for an old gentleman with 
the gout who was very grumpy Mr. Amos whispered 
back to me that he would lay five dollars the old boy 
would pass me by. Now it so happened that he had 
used very hard words to me by reason of being in pain 
the night before and when he came along he stopped 
and made a sort of grimace and handed me a twenty- 
dollar note. I heard Mr. Amos whistle under his breath 
but he gave me the five dollars arfterwards and said 
you never could tell when Northern Pacific would de- 
clare a extra dividend. But I feel that this is a sordid 

138 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

subject, only it would not be so if people used a little 
thought fulness and common-sense about it. 

The guests at an house party are apt to be very 
much alike from one week end to another and frequent 
repeat theirselves, and there are two classes which to 
me are especial obnoxious, namely, wot Miss Patricia 
calls the Bores and the Fresh Johnnies. The Bores you 
have always with you, and so far as that goes you 
have the Johnnies also but not so persistent. The Bores 
are always invited everywhere because you can always 
rely on them to fill up at the last minute and not to do 
anything objectionable. But I am often surprised that 
they are invited at all because how anyone could get 
any pleasure from their society is beyond me, not to say 
incredulous. The Bores always calls most assiduous 
and you can figure on each of them getting around 
about once in two weeks, and they always call when 
the ladies is sure to be at home, in which they differ 
from the Fresh Johnnies who only call when the ladies 
is sure to be out, if they call at all which is seldom. 

There is one gentleman who I am sure prepares 
everything that he is going to say before he starts 
out, and I am willing to wager he says the same thing 
wherever he goes. He rarely eats anything at dinner 
and when he gets to the roast no matter if he is in 
the middle of a sentence or telling one of his anecdotes 
he simply turns his back on the lady he is talking to 
and begins to talk to the one on the other side, begin- 

139 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

ning at the beginning again. I discovered this once 
at a dinner at our house where he sat between Mrs. 
Carter and Miss Patricia. He started in with Mrs. 
Carter. 

**It is really astonishing," he says, "the antagonism 
to the President in Wall Street," he says. "I was 
speaking the other day to a prominent banker who 
remarked " 

Then I lost wot he was saying because I had passed 
on, and when I came around with the white wine he 
was telling Mrs. Carter a story of a Bishop at a chris- 
tening and he says, "And the good Bishop didn't know 

whether it was a boy or a girl so he " Well I 

didn't think anything of it until I was passing the 
champagne and when I got to the gentleman in ques- 
tion he was saying something about the opera to Mrs. 
Carter and who was going to be the new director, and 
all of a sudden he turns and begins on Miss Patricia. 

"It is really astonishing," he says, "the antagonism 
to the President in Wall Street," he says. "I was 
speaking the other day to a prominent banker who 
remarked " 

Well, I almost smiled but not quite, and if you will 
believe me when I came around with the claret he was 
just saying "And the good Bishop did not know 

whether it was a boy or a girl so he " Well that 

is how that gentleman gets along for he talks all the 
time even if ungrammatical, and he never says any- 

140 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

thing which will give offence to anybody, so you see him 
at all the teas and receptions and dances and at every- 
thing except the swellest dinners. 

Now there is lots of others just like him and they 
only differ in the way they do it. One makes a specialty 
of art, although I do not really believe he knows much 
about it, but he has read two or three books and he 
is always telling the ladies wot is in them about this 
and that and the other thing, and so they all imagine 
that he is quite the cheese on that subject. But Mr. 
Amos says he does not know enough to go in when 
it rains about anything, and I will take Mr. Amos's 
word on that. 

There is another one who knows the plots of all 
the operas and when each composer was born and when 
he died and how many times he was married and how 
many children he had. There is another who can do 
eight different card tricks and several more with a hand- 
kerchief and a piece of string to say nothing of one 
with a glass of water and a cane, and he is a great 
success you may be sure. And there is another that 
collects funny stories and puts them in a book with 
a index which he keeps in his pocket and sometimes in 
his cuff, and I have seen him take it out on the sly 
when both of the ladies he was between was engaged 
in conversation and cram up. Another time when he 
was there it slipped out of his sleeve on to the floor 

141 



THE BUTLER'S STORY / 

and James picked it up, and I found him laughing fit to 
burst in the pantry after dinner and he says : 

*'My eye," he says, ''did you ever read anything like 
that !" says he. And he had the little book open at "B" 
where the gentleman had written '^Bad Stories." And 
I must say that although I was astonished at first I read 
them all and nearly died laughing. There was "Clergy- 
men Stories" under *'C" and "Doctor Stories" under 
"D," and "Religious Stories" under "R," only I did 
not read thein. Well, the gentleman he missed his little 
book after he got back to the dra wring-room with 
the ladies and was that oncomfortable he nearly ex- 
pired and he could hardly talk, and although they asked 
him to tell some funny stories to them he couldn't 
remember any. And when he went out I put the book in 
his hat and handed it to him and he was the most 
relieved person I ever see. So he gave me five dollars 
and says I should not mention the book, which I have 
not except to tell about it here. 

Well you are apt to get three or four of the Bores 
most any week down at The Beeches and they are 
always the ones that are out to get the most for their 
money and will smoke two cigars to every other gen- 
tleman's one and take a few away on Monday morning 
to smoke on the train as they say, but I guess more 
likely to last through the week until they come again; 
and the one who is the expert on art is always forget- 
ting to bring his neckties and silk socks and borrowing 

142 



REAL SWELLS AND OTHERS 

them from Mr. Carter, which he never returns and is 
wearing them yet, for I have laid out more than once 
for him a pair of orange accordion pleated silk socks 
which cost eight dollars and which I borrowed from 
Mr. Carter for him over a year ago. Now that comes 
pretty near being petty larceny. But the Bores differ 
from the Fresh Johnnies because the Bores do by inten- 
tion wot the Fresh Johnnies do by accident. 

Most of these are young fellows who are not such 
a long time out of college who have been taken up by 
the swell ladies of society and think they are doing 
fine and own the whole show. They all talk very loud 
and are terrible confident unless someone contradicts 
wot they say and tell them they don't know anything, 
which is the truth, and then they collapse like a clam 
and say nothing. I am always scared when one of 
them is sitting next to Miss Patricia because you never 
can tell wot they are going to say, and although they 
mean well they are just as apt to say something orful 
as not, but I guess Miss Patricia can take care of her- 
self if anybody can. Now they are always forgetting 
all their things, and there is one that always rings 
the bell and says, "Ridges, go and get me one of old 
Carter's neckties or his shirt studs or wot not," and 
because I do not like to take Mr. Carter's things which 
are so expensive I have bought a small line of aber- 
dashery that this gentleman and others like him need 
and when the valet unlocks their boxes I look them 

143 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

I 

over and see wot they lack. It really costs very little 
and at the end of the month I charge it to Mr. Carter, 
Eliza buys the things at a department store, and she 
gets white ties for nineteen cents apiece and black ones 
for a quarter and brass collar buttons at five cents 
apiece, and underclothes at fifty cents a pair, socks at 
twenty-five cents and tooth brushes the same. I sup- 
pose I have saved Mr. Carter hundreds of dollars in 
the last five years. And this makes it easy for nice 
young fellows that have really meant to bring their 
things but have forgotten to do so, who ring the bell 
and ask me if I would mind lending them one of my 
own ties or collar buttons, for then I can say I have 
a few new ones which I will be glad to let them have 
at cost, and they are so relieved to find that they do not 
have to come down to dinner without a collar or 
something that they usually give me a couple of dollars, 
which all goes toward my publick-house at Wapping- 
on-Velly. 



144 



VIII 



THE DELUGE 



"How is this thing going to hit us?" says Mrs. 
Carter looking up over her paper and taking a bit of 
^gg and sausage. 

"Darn if I know," says her husband. "I've shrunk 
two or three millions already, only they haven't begun 
to cut dividends yet so it don't make any particular 
difference in our income," he says. "All the same I 
guess you and Harriet had better go slow for a while 
on all real lace gowns and such. Wot worries me," 
he says, "is these investigations. The way they are 
going at things now, if a feller has given the orfice 
boy a five dollar gold piece at Christmas and charged 
the company for it they indite him for larceny," he 
says. 

"Well, you have never done anything wrong, have 
you, Sam?" says Mrs. Carter suspicious-like. 

"No, of course not," he says, "but many an inno- 
cent man has suffered for the sins of others. The public 
insists on having victims." 

Just then James came in and said there was a young 
man wanted to see Mr. Carter most urgent. 

145 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"Tell him to wait !" says Mr. Carter. 

*'I told him to and he used bad language/' says 
James, "and, if you'll pardon me, sir, he said that you 
had better get a move on. He said he knew you was 
home." 

"O!" says Mr. Carter, "I suppose I may as well 
see him ! He may be a process server or something." 

"Don't go near him !" says Mrs. Carter very anxious. 
"He may be a crank and shoot you." 

But her husband told her not to be a fool and how 
of course it was all right, but you had to be pleasant 
and agreeable with certain kinds of people, and went 
out to see wot the man wanted, and he was gone only 
a few minutes, but when he came back he looked five 
years older. So Mrs. Carter noticed how hupset he 
seemed and insisted on knowing wot the trouble was, 
and he showed her a brown slip of paper and said 
that he was subpoenaed before that blamed Grand 
Jury. 

"O, Sam!" says his wife. 

"O, it is nothing!" he says pouring out more coffee. 
"I'm a member of the Grand Jury myself," he says. 

"Well," she says, "maybe it would have been better 
if you had served on it sometimes instead of giving that 
man the box of cigars and the overcoat every year." 

"Wot are you talking about !" he growls looking very 
fierce at her. 

"Why, don't you remember " she began, but he 

146 



THE DELUGE 

shut her orf quick and told her not to talk so much 
(he was orful shirty and cross) and he bolted his coffee 
and stuffed a few rolls down his throat and told me to 
call up Mr. Ketchem on the telephone. 

Well, I was that uneasy that I could hardly do my 
work for I hated to think that anything might happen 
to one of Miss Patricia's family, for she loves her 
father most devoted, just as if he was a ordinary work- 
ing man, and I was most anxious to hear wot Mr. 
Carter would say to Mr. Ketchem and he to him for it 
was evident there was something rotten in the State of 
Denmark to say the least. So in a couple of hours Mr. 
Ketchem arrived in a brougham and fur overcoat and 
went right into the library with them on and of course 
I had to go along to help him orf. So he says : 

"Well, Carter, wots the hurry call?" he says. 

Mr. Carter just shifted his big cigar and handed him 
the brown subpoena. 

"Hm!" says Ketchem. "Well, wot are you going 
to tell 'em?" 

"Hanged if I know," says Mr. Carter. "Here, have 
a cigar." 

"No, thanks," says Ketchem, "I don't smoke in the 
morning." 

"Have a drink then," he says. 

"Don't care if I do," he says. 

"Scotch or rye, sir?" I says. 

"Scotch," he says. "Look here, Carter," he says, 

147 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"this looks serious," he says. "It must be that Tunnel 
Deal r 

"That's it, fast enough," says Mr. Carter. 

So I helped Mr. Ketchem orf with his coat and 
fussed around getting the whisky for quite a while. 

"Well, I always said you was skinning awful close," 
says Ketchem. "I merely told you how it could be 
done, — I didn't advise it. You remember that?" 

"I don't remember very clear," says Mr. Carter. 
"But anyhow we dug the hole and now the question 
is how are we going to get out of it." 

"Let me see," says Mr. Ketchem, "There was Wig- 
gin, and Snow, and Bumstead in it, wasn't there? 
Well, Wiggin is dead — you can shove most of it on 
him.'' 

Mr. Carter took a little walk around the room before 
he replied. Finally he said: 

"I don't like to do that, Ketchem." 

"Well, put a little on him," says the lawyer. 

"Wot else could we do?" asks Mr. Carter. 

"Well, the first thing," says Ketchem, "is to get hold 
of Snow and Bumstead and tell 'em not to remember 
anything." 

"They'd have sense enough to forget ever)rthing 
until they saw us, anyway," says Mr. Carter. "I tell 
you wot. You go over to Boston to see 'em while I go 
before the Grand Jury." 

148 



THE DELUGE 

"Can't/* says Ketchem. "IVe got a subpoena my- 
self,'* he says. 

"Damn!" says Mr. Carter. 

"I tell you we're up against it," says Ketchem, "and 
we've got to be mighty leery." 

"It looks like it," says Mr. Carter. 

"Yes," says his lawyer, "and the way things is now 
you've got to give the impression of being willing to 
talk even if you're not," he says. 

"That is bad !" says Mr. Carter. 

"Well, you can talk about anything that don't count," 
says Ketchem. "And just forget on the important 
things. Take my advice," says Ketchem, "and put it 
on Wiggin. Dead men tell no tales," he says. 

"It would be a low down dirty trick !" says Mr. Carter 
rather nervous. 

"Well, it would be better than going to jail," says 
Ketchem. 

"There's no fear of that, is there?" asks Mr. Carter. 

"They just convicted Miller, didn't they?" says 
Ketchem. "And all he did was to overcertify an account 
by a couple of hundred thousand. You can't tell wot 
may happen, these days. If they got a chance they 
would convict an archbishop of forgery." 

"Well, we must get into communication with Boston 
at once," says Mr. Carter. 

"There's another thing," says Ketchem. "You had 
better retain a regular criminal lawyer besides," he says. 

149 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"No civil practitioner knows anything about it, and I 
have never had a criminal case in my life. Take my 
advice and get the best one there is." Then he sees me 
fussing around by the door and he says, "What's 
Ridges doing there ?" he says. "He'd better get out of 
here," he says. 

So I had to go out, and although I would have given 
my ears to hear more, that was all I caught. 

Well, you may be sure there was great excitement 
downstairs at noon for James had told everybody about 
Mr. Carter's subpoena and all the servants was sure 
that they would be out of a place for he would have 
to go to prison. James said as how the Grand Jury 
was used only to try men as had committed orrid feloni- 
ous crimes and Mr. Carter must be far different from 
wot he seemed, and another of the men was positive 
that if you once got in you would never get out. Poor 
old Aunty Robinson was that hupset she couldn't eat 
and was on the edge of crying all the time. She said 
it was dreadful to think of anyone belonging to Miss 
Patricia having to go to prison. Well, I said he didn't 
have to go to prison just because he was summoned, 
but they all said I was wrong and that you might be 
called for a regular jury and get orf, but it was dif- 
ferent with grand juries, and Evelyn said the only 
way to get out of it was to say that if you told any- 
thing it would degrade and discriminate you, and that 
if you said that, they would lock you up anyway. They 

ISO 



THE DELUGE 

all agreed there was very little hope for him and as I 
did not know much about it I began to feel pretty well 
down myself. I did not know wot he had done but I 
said I was sure there was no malice or premeditation in 
it. Then one of them said that if you stole with malice 
you had a malicious prosecution, while if you stole with 
deliberation and premeditation it was larceny, but just 
ordinary stealing was theft. It didn't sound exactly 
right but I let it pass for I didn't want no argumentum 
with them and about arf arfter four o'clock the evening 
papers came and there it all was : 

CARTER CALLED BEFORE GRAND JURY 

Tunnel Deal Under Investigation 
Indictments Expected Soon 

And about four columns telling all about how Mr. 
Carter and Mr. Wiggin and the others had got up this 
company and made the capital of it several millions 
when all they had was some sort of permission to dig 
a tunnel that had never been dug, and then how they 
had sold that company to another company for about 
twice that, and the other company had sold all the stock 
to widows and orphans. It was very confusing and 
mixed up, but the idea seemed to be that Mr. Carter 
and his friends had got a lot of money for nothing at 
all and that if they hadn't committed any crime they 
ought to have. We all felt orful about it and James 

151 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

said he guessed it was time for any respectable man to 
leave the house but I told him to hold his tongue for 
a stupid ass and learn not to believe everything he 
reads in the papers. 

That night at dinner we had a terrible scene, for Mr. 
Carter came in all aggard and tired and threw himself 
into a chair and called for a glass of whisky and then 
Mrs. Carter and Miss Harriet came in and nobody said 
a word for a long time. Then Miss Harriet says : 

"Have you seen the papers?" 

Mr. Carter shook his head and says: 

"No, I have had enough without reading the papers." 

"Well," says Miss Harriet, "I would like to know 
wot I am to tell my friends," says she. 

Mr. Carter looked at her and the veins in his fore- 
head sort of swelled out and he started to speak and 
then he stopped and shook his head and picked up his 
fish as if he was going to eat. But Miss Harriet kept 
right on and wanted to know if wot the papers said 
was true and that he had got up a bogus company. She 
was that mad she didn't care who heard her, and her 
mother said: 

"Harriet! O Harriet! Not before the servants!" 

And she says, "Wot do I care when all the world 
knows?" she says. 

"Leave the room," says Mr. Carter to James and 
me and when we had gone into the pantry I could hear 
him talking in a low tone to Miss Harriet, but it seems 

152 



THE DELUGE 

it did not satisfy her for I could hear her voice saying : 
''Well, I never would have believed it 1 I don't know 
wot I can say to everybody. I shall be ashamed to 
hold up my head. I'm disgraced!'* 

Then Mr. Carter got hot and called her an ungrate- 
ful child and first Mrs. Carter sided with one and 
then with the other and they had an orful time. And 
just as I opened the pantry door a little crack to see 
if it was time to serve the ontray he put his head in 
his hands and began to cry and Miss Patricia who was 
late for dinner came in just then and when she saw 
her father sitting there all broke up, and Harriet and 
her mother just looking at him cold and haughty, she 
ran and threw her arms around him and got down on 
her knees and hugged him and said how he was the 
nicest father in the world and she would never believe 
any wrong of him as long as she lived, and by and by, 
he stopped crying and patted her head and said she 
was a good girl and the best in the lot and wiped his 
eyes and said they had better go on with dinner, which 
they did. 

Well, James had heard enough to make him sure all 
was over and went on cackling about it downstairs until 
I wanted to cuff him, but I do not blame him for being 
excited about it, and all the more so as the first thing 
arfter breakfast the next morning Mr. Ketchem came 
with a round-headed little man with a sharp nose 
named Mr. Isaacs, and they all went into the library. 

153 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Now I never would have heard anything more had it 
not been for the fact that I found a ventilator between 
the pantry and the library near the sink and as my 
duties kept me there, I sent James away and so long 
as I was there alone with no noise I could not help 
overhearing part of wot was said. 

Now it seems that Mr. Ketchem and Mr. Isaacs 
had got it all planned out beforehand that Mr. Carter 
should remember all about everything that had hap- 
pened before the Statue of Limitations, wherever that 
may be, and either forget wotever happened elsewhere 
or put it on poor old dead Mr. Wiggin which it could 
not harm in the least they said, being as he was in his 
grave. For while Mr. Carter had gone down to the 
building where the Grand Jury was they had not been 
able to see him, being too busy, and so he was to be 
heard the next morning. But Mr. Carter had it on his 
mind that he didn't want to put anything on Mr. Wig- 
gin that the latter did not deserve and he had some hesi- 
tation about lying anyway, and Mr. Ketchem got sort 
of irritated and says: 

"Carter, you talk as if you was a white robed hangel 
and not a man of the world.'* 

And Mr. Carter waits a minute and then says sadly : 

**No, Ketchem, you know I ain't no hangel nor no 
parson neither, but I never lied under oath yet and no 
matter how many dirty deals you have put me through 
I have never laid any blame where it did not belong 

154 



THE DELUGE 

or got anybody else in trouble and I have taken my 
losses, as I have my gains, without squealing. You 
have always talked about being a good sport and to my 
mind that includes not blackguarding the dead nor 
telling a lie when you give your word of honor," he 
says. 

And I felt proud of him and I says to myself : "Good 
for you !" 

"O fudge!" says Ketchem. "Wot kind of distinc- 
tion is that," he says, "lying under oath and lying 
without ; and wot kind of honor is it that will sacrifice 
the living for the dead !" he says. "Do you want your 
wife and family to be ruined because you go to jail!" 
he says. 

"O," says Mr. Carter. "You don't think it could 
come to that, do you, Mr. Isaacs?" 

And I heard Mr. Isaacs put down his glass and say : 

"Bretty glose to id," he says, "bretty glose to id." 

No one spoke for a long time. Then, at last, Mr. 
Ketchem says: 

"Not only that but if you tell 'em the truth," he 
says, "You are liable for every cent," he says, "and 
your family will be beggared!" 

"Wot is that?" says Mr. Carter. 

"Yes," says Ketchem, "Beggared, ruined, cleaned 
out, bankrupted!" 

"Why so?" asks my master in a faint voice. 

"Because the evidence you will give will make you 

155 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

civilly liable for every cent these people claim they 
have lost — which is about ten times the value of your 
estate," he says. 

Well that put a different color on it and I could 
almost feel Mr. Carter on the other side of the wall 
struggling to make up his mind whether to be an 
honest man or a rascal. I do not believe he would 
have hesitated an instant had it not been for his 
family and his pride, but I could understand that he 
felt he owed a duty to his wife and Miss Patricia and 
the others he had brought into the world wotever 
they might be, and Mr. Ketchem evidently 3aw his 
chance for he began to talk very fast about how 
foolish it would be to admit now that wot he had 
done before was wrong and to give up the money he 
had earned merely out of a foolish sentimentality and 
disgrace your family and go to jail into the bargain, 
and Mr. Carter kept saying "Yes, yes," there was 
something in that to be sure, only two wrongs could 
never make a right. 

Just as I began to realize that the honor and welfare 
of Miss Patricia and the whole family was at stake 
and that good and evil was in mortal combat together 
in the library and had made up my mind to throw 
my weight on the right side if I ever got the chance, 
I heard the swish of skirts and I saw Miss Patricia 
come into the dining-room in her riding habit. So I 
went to see wot she wanted. 

156 



THE DELUGE 

"Ridges," says she, "Please fetch me a glass of 
water." 

And then what impelled me I know not for instead 
of obeying her I rushes forward and I clasps my 
two hands together and says : 

"O, Miss, I think your father needs you in the 
library!" 

And she looks at me for a minute and then she says : 

"Did he send forme?" 

And I says: 

"No, Miss, if you'll pardon me, he did not send for 
you, but — but he needs you just the same!" 

"I think I understand," she says. "Thank you, 
Ridges, I'll go to him," and forgetting all about the 
glass of water she goes down the passage and knocks 
at the door of the library. Someone said "Who's 
there ?" And without giving any answer Miss Patricia 
opened the door and went in and I slipped back to my 
pantry near the ventilator. 

"It's me, father, — Pat," she says. 

"O," said her father, "You must excuse me. We 
are very busy." 

"I am sorry to intrude," she says. "Good-morning, 
Mr. Ketchem ! How-dy-do ? Father, will you present 
this gentleman to me?" 

I could just see old Isaacs getting up smirking and 
a-puUing of his forelock only there wasn't any, being 

157 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

as how he is as bald as an owl, and I could hear Mr. 
Carter saying : 

"This is my attorney, Mr. Isaacs. My daughter, 
Miss Carter." 

"Glad to make your agquaintance," says Isaacs. 

"You must excuse us," says Ketchem very short. 
"We have an important matter under discussion." 

"May I not stay?" asked Miss Patricia. "I will be 
still as a mouse. Father, do let me stay! Wot you 
are deciding may have to do with the future of all of 
us." 

"No, no," says Ketchem. "No women." 

"Wot is that, sir ?" says Mr. Carter his voice chang- 
ing. "This is my house and my affair and I will 
decide who shall be present at this interview. If my 
daughter wants to remain she may do so. I have no 
secrets from her." 

"O, as you choose!" growls Ketchem. 

"Thank you, father dear!" says Miss Patricia. 

"Then," continues Ketchem, "It is decided, is it 
not? You will do as we planned? And I will decline 
to answer on the ground of privilege." 

There was a long silence inside the room and I 
could hear the big clock tick off a minute and a harf 
in the hall and then Mr. Carter said sort of agonized : 

"Omy God!" 

I heard Miss Patricia exclaim : 

"Father, dear ! Wot is it all about ? Tell me 1" 

158 



THE DELUGE 

"I thought you were not going to interfere," says 
Ketchem, getting up out of his chair. 

Then all of a sudden Mr. Carter began to talk very 
fast to Miss Patricia and although I could not hear all 
he said I could tell that it was about how they wanted 
him to lie about wot he had done and how it was the 
only thing that stood between him and State's prison 
and their all being beggared and thrown penniless into 
the street, and then I heard Miss Patricia's voice say : 

"Is that wot you have advised my father to do, sir ?" 
to Ketchem. 

And he said: 

"It is either that or go to jail." 

And then there was a silence and she said in a sort 
of surprised way: 

"Have you given him his answer, father?" 

"No," he says, sort of ashamed. "I cannot see you 
disgraced." 

"Ah !" she said. "Well, / will give him his answer. 
Mr. Ketchem, my father declines to take your advice 
and commit perjury in addition to any other offences 
into which you, with your clever scheming, may have 
lured him. From now on he is going to tell the truth 
and do right, no matter wot the consequences may be. 
If he Is asked wot he has done he will tell, and if he is 
asked who advised him to do it, he will tell that too. 
Am I right, father?" 

IS9 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"Yes," I heard him say, "You are always right, 
Pat!" 

"Then I may as well go," shouted Ketchem. "You 
know wot this means I suppose ? It's each one for him- 
self and the Devil take the hindermost." 

"He has got his claws on one of you already," said 
Miss Patricia very quiet. 

Then the door opened very sudden and Mr Ketchem 
came out in a great hurry and very red in the face and 
he pounded through the dining-room and out into the 
front hall and slammed the front door and — 

"I think the young leddy is right," I heard Mr. 
Isaacs say, "I may be only a griminal lawyer, bud I 
respegt honesty and nobilidy of character when I see 
it. I suppose, Mr. Carter, you will have no further 
need of my services, and I will wish you good morning 
with the hobe that the course your daughter has advised 
you to bersue will give you beace of mind and in the 
end greader happiness than the other." 

"No, no, Isaacs," says Mr. Carter. "Stay here. 
I believe you are the only honest lawyer in the lot." 

"I am sure of it," exclaimed Miss Patricia. 

"Well, well," said Isaacs, "I have not often had the 
bleasure of hearing those sendiments and if I can be of 
any assistance I will be glad to remain your counsel." 

"I leave myself in your hands and those of my 
daughter," said Mr. Carter. 

Then Isaacs said: 

i6o 



THE DELUGE 

"I suppose, Miss, you understand just wot this will 
cerdainly mean to your father. If the Grand Jury 
find anything griminal in the transactions he may be 
indicted, gonvicted and even sent to prison, and as 
Counsellor Ketchem pointed out the disglosures he may 
be forced io make will put his greditors in position to 
seize all h's proberty and throw him into bangkruptcy." 

"Then," answered Miss Patricia "he will have done 
all in his power to make amends for any wrong he has 
done. I do not believe my father ever intended to 
harm any one, and if he has he will be the first to try 
to make restitution. At any rate wot would wealth be 
worth if dishonestly obtained? I can work. So can 
my father. If wot he has now rightfully belongs to 
others, let us give it back to them. If it is necessary 
for my father to go to prison, which I do not for a 
moment believe, he will come out with a clear con- 
science ready to begin Hfe over again." 

"If everybody were lige you, young leddy, we 
lawyers would have to go out of business," said 
Isaacs. 

Just then the bell rang and I had to go and it turned 
out to be Mr. Amos, so Miss Patricia came out to see 
him in the drawring-room and Mr. Carter and Mr. 
Isaacs stayed in the library and I heard no more, but I 
began to feel that I had not done right in listening 
even if it had been the cause of Miss Patricia's coming 
to her father's rescue, and when Mr. Amos went out 

i6i 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

I was a-standing in the hall and when I had handed him 
his hat I told him ever)rthing wot I had done and wot 
I had heard pass, and it almost made the tears come 
into my eyes. 

"You're an old rascal, Ridges !" he says when I had 
finished. "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for an 
eavesdropper ?" 

"Yes, sir," I says, "I am ashamed of myself, but I 
am proud of Miss Patricia." 

"Well said. Ridges !" he says, "you have the tempera- 
ture of an advocate!" 

Then he paused and looked at me very hard, and 
all of a sudden he slapped his knee and exclaimed : 

"By George!" says he, "Ridges, do you think you 
could tell that over again," he says, "just as you have 
told it to me ?" 

And I says: 

"If it was to help Miss Patricia," I says, " I could 
shout it to a multitude from a Mound of Olives." 

And he larfed and says : 

"I may give you a chance, but," he says "if you tell 
any of it, tell it all to the very last word." 

Well, I did not know wot was up so I went back to 
the pantry, and by and bye James came in with the 
evening papers and there it was worse than ever. They 
had found out all about the tunnel deal and how Mr. 
Ketchem was at the back of it and it said how possibly 
Mr. Carter and the others would be indicated and the 

162 



THE DELUGE 

ones out of the States would have to be extracated so it 
seemed a Httle better to me here than there. But it was 
clear that everything was in a very bad way indeed and 
all the servants were so excited they could hardly eat. 

Dinner that night was a gloomy affair and the only 
thing Mr. Carter said was that they had better get a 
good full meal while they had a chance because you 
could never tell when you would get another. Mr. 
Amos came back after dinner and so did Mr. Isaacs, 
and they all stayed up very late looking over great 
quantities of papers in the library. 

Next morning the papers had everybody's picture 
and cartoons with convicts in stripes breaking stones, 
and Mrs. Carter and Miss Harriet claimed they had not 
slept a wink, and after breakfast Mr. Isaacs came for 
Mr. Carter in a cab and they drove orf to go before the 
Grand Jury. My eye ! It was an orrible sensation to 
open the door for Mr. Carter for perhaps the- last 
time and being so happy before. All that day I felt 
terrible and by and bye in the afternoon Mr. Carter 
came home looking very tired and depressed and went 
right to his room, and when the evening papers came 
they said he had told everything and now there would 
be no difficulty in putting the guilty parties in jail. 

And then the strangest thing happened. About six 
o'clock the door bell rang and as James was hupstairs 
I answered it and a cheeky sort of a fellow was there 
smoking a cigar with his hat on one side, and he says : 

163 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

**Are you Carter's valayf" he says. 

'T am employed by Mr. Carter," I says in reply. 

''AH right," he says laying a brown paper on my 
arm, "you are subpoenaed to appear before the Grand 
Jury to-morrow morning at ten o'clock." And before 
I could say a word he was arf a block down the street. 

Sure enough the paper said I was to come and testify 
against John Doe, which was some comfort as it was 
not Mr. Carter, but I did not sleep much myself and 
the next morning I went down in the subway and finally 
found my way to the Grand Jury. But there is noth- 
ing grand about it. The building it is in is so dirty it 
cannot have been cleaned for years and it is full of 
orrible stale smoke and Italians. Well, they passed 
me along until I reached a room with an orficer by the 
door full of Jews and Armenians and people that had 
the appearance of having recently been intoxicated, 
and every once in a while a man came to a door and 
shouted a name and the person went in. Pretty soon 
he would come out and the man would shout another 
name. 

Well, by and by he called Peter Ridges and, as I got 
up to go in, another door opened and who should come 
out but old Mr. Gerard, Mr. Amos's father, and he 
gave me a smile and a wink and says : 

"Ridges, tell it all!" 

That naturally encouraged me summat, so I mustered 
up my courage and went in through the door, and I 

164 



THE DELUGE 

thought I should drop dead for there was a great circle 
of desks, and a gentleman sitting behind each one and 
I was all alone in the middle of them like Daniel in the 
lion's den. Then one of them asked my name in a 
beard and another handed me a Bible and swore me 
to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help 
my God and to take a chair, and again I was forced to 
be seated in the presence of my betters. Then a nice 
looking gentleman in another beard asked wot I knew 
about certain conversations between one Ketchem and 
one Carter my employer, and if I could tell how it was 
that said Carter had decided to confess all he knew 
about the tunnel deal. So I did not feel embarrassed 
any longer and began to tell them and they were very 
particular about Mr. Ketchem and asked a lot of ques- 
tions, and when I got to the part about Miss Patricia 
they all listened very hard and nodded and one asked 
me wot she looked like, and I said she was like an 
hangel on earth and the most beautiful lady you had 
ever seen, and then another who was smiling inquired 
if I thought Mr. Carter would do anything wrong, and 
I said not if he asked Miss Patricia first, and that 
she loved him better than anybody in the world, and 
it would kill her if anything happened to him, and that 
he was going to take her advice and give back all the 
money he had in the world to his creditors. 

Then a fat little man with gray eyes said he was of 
the opinion that the Grand Jury were under a great 

i6s 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

obligation to Mister Ridges (Think of that!), and the 
gray-bearded man said he thought so too, and they were 
all much obliged and I might go now, which I did 
feeling somehow much happier than when I had went 
in. And that night the extraordinary thing occurred, 
for when I took up the paper I read that the Grand 
Jury had not indicted Mr. Carter at all, but had in- 
dicted Mr. Ketchem instead and that he was held in 
twenty thousand dollars bail ! And I was that over- 
joyed that I cried right on the paper, but the family 
had another already. Here is wot it said : 

KETCHEM INDICTED 

Grand Jury Indicts Lawyer for Conspiracy to Defraud 

The Grand Jury to-day returned a true bill against Joshua 
Ketchem, the well-known corporation lawyer, for conspiracy 
to defraud. Contrary to general expectation, no action was 
taken against another well-known New Yorker whose name 
has recently been mentioned in connection with the matter. 
It is believed that the action of the Grand Jury in regarding 
the moral guilt of the attorney who devised and engineered 
the transaction as greater than that of his clients will meet 
with general approval. Among the incidents of the day the 
appearance before the Grand Jury of Peter Ridges, a butler 
in the employ of Samuel Carter, excited considerable comment. 

And that Is the first and last time my name was ever 
printed in the paper, and thank God it was not my 
picture. 



i66 



IX 

safe at anchor 

Primrose Lodge^ 
Craven Hall, 

Alderlea, Hants. 

Who would ever have thought it would come out 
this way ? And indeed it is hard for me to believe that 
it is true myself and that I am back again at Craven 
Hall and that my book is almost full of writing. To be 
sure in the hurry and confusion of selling the house 
and packing up the things I thought that I had lost 
it and not much matter at that, but when I packed my 
box there it was sure enough with the cracked ha'penny 
and Mr. Hunter's waistcoat button way at the bottom 
under my Inverness coat that I had not worn since 
that night at Rector's. I can hardly believe that there 
ever was such a place or such a night as I sit here on 
the porch with Eliza beside me smoking my pipe or how 
near I came to losing her once and for all. But it is so 
in fact. From where I sit I can see the gray walls of 
Craven Hall and there on the croquet ground are Mr. 
Amos and Miss Patricia, I mean Mrs. Amos, with my 

167 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

master and old Mr. Gerard, and Eliza is sewing and 
humming to herself, which is a habit I shall break her 
of if I am able, and saying, "I thought you had lost 
that old book. Don't write in it, Peter. Why don't 
you talk to mef" But I am going to write in it for 
the last time and leave it for my post-humorous works. 

Yet wot I have to put down is not by any means 
all happiness, for Mr. Carter did lose all his money 
just as Mr. Ketchem said he would and went bankrupt 
and had to sacrifice all his property for his creditors. 
Two days after he testified before the Grand Jury a 
sheriff came and levied on the house and furniture 
and a receiver in bankruptcy took possession of it 
and gave us a week to get out. You would have thought 
that Mrs. Carter would go orf her head for the first 
few days and Miss Harriet was that hupset that she 
would not speak at all. She acted as if she had a 
personal grievance against her father and all the world 
besides. One by one the servants were called up and 
paid orf until there was only about six left, including 
Eliza, Aunty Robinson and me, and although you will 
be surprised to hear it we got along quite beautiful 
without them while we remained. Then Mr. Carter 
hired a small flat on the West Side and asked Eliza 
and me if we would be so kind as to get it ready for 
the family as our month was not up and he had not 
had a chance to engage other servants which we did. 

*T wonder wot Mrs. Carter will say when she sees 

i68 



SAFE AT ANCHOR 

thisT I says to Eliza one day while we were getting 
unpacked. 

"I wonder wot Miss Harriet will say!" says she. 

Well, wot do you suppose Mrs. Carter did say ? That 
is the funniest thing of all. She had climbed up the 
four flights of stairs without the lift and came puffing 
in the door and the first thing she says was : 

"How perfectly dear!" she says. *'It is just like our 
flat in Pi qua !" she says, and she threw herself down in 
a rocking chair by the window and looked out over 
the Hudson and says very softly : 

"I haven't felt so happy as I do now since I lived 
there." 

So Eliza and I slipped back into the little kitchen 
and as we sat there together we could hear Mrs. Carter 
arranging furniture and a-singing to herself as happy 
as could be and I says to Eliza : 

"Wot are you going to do, Eliza?" And she says : 

"I don't know, Peter, but I was thinking of get- 
ting a place as hat checker in one of the big hotels at 
the dining-room door." 

And I said, why ? and she said : 

"Evelyn Raymond had a friend who was tall and 
fair and had such a job and she married a millionaire 
whose hat she used to check. They like them tall and 
fair. I am tall and fair," she says. 

"Do you want to marry a millionaire?" I says. 

"Well, I don't want particular to marry a million- 

169 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

aire," she says, "but I don't want to die an old maid," 
she says, and she looked across the sink at me sort of 
weepy, and I says although I had not thought seriously 
of it before: 

"Neither do I, dear, and / like them tall and fair." 

And then all I remember is that she said "O, Peter !" 
and I took her in my arms and held her there so long 
that when we tiptoed to the parlor door Mrs. Carter 
had gone long ago. . . . 

Eliza has just said "O Peter !" again for I laughed 
to myself just now when I wrote this and she looked 
over my shoulder and read wot I had written and 
tried to snatch the book away but I did not let her. 

Well, if I had not proposed to Eliza that afternoon I 
should never have found Lord Craven, for I took her 
out to dine and then to a play which she said she had 
heard was a good one, and for the first time I bought 
seats in the orchestra. The play was all about the 
India mutiny and an orficer who is left behind when 
his regiment goes to the front, and was very pitiful, so 
that Eliza cried and I cried a little also, and then the 
orchestra began to play "God Save the King," and 
although nobody near me did so, I got on to my feet 
and stood up all alone. Well, a lot of the audience 
stared hard at me and some of them began to snicker 
and I got red as a lobster when all of a sudden I saw 
there was someone else standing up on the other side of 
the theatre just like me and my heart went out to 

170 



SAFE AT ANCHOR 

this other Englishman though he was a stranger. He 
was slim and tall and his face was brown and clean 
cut and he had a moustache and when he turned I 
saw it was Lord Craven and he knew me at the same 
instant. Well it took less time than it does for me to 
write it to get to him and we went out into the lobby 
and he told me how his cousin the Earl of Danforth 
had died very unexpected without heirs and how he 
now was the Elarl himself and had plenty of money 
and was on his way back to England from Manitoba, 
and you must come with me, he says, and bring Eliza 
with you, for I had told him about her and how 
we had agreed to become man and wife that very after- 
noon. So that all things worked together for good, 
and if I had not told Miss Patricia to go into the 
library that time, she would not have made her father 
tell the truth, and he would not have lost his money, 
and Mrs. Carter would not have hired the flat, and I 
should not have married Eliza or taken her to the 
theatre and found Lord Craven, God bless him! So 
he wanted to know about everything and I told him 
all and how Miss Patricia was the noblest lady in the 
world and wot a fine fellow Mr. Amos was. 

"Gerard, the poet and dramatist?" he says. "I know 
him well." 

"But," I says, "he does not really write anything 
to speak of, does he ?" 

171 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"He wrote this play," says he, "and he will make 
ten thousand pounds out of it if he makes a cent!" 

"My eye!" I says. "Now who would ever imagine 
Mr. Amos making anything!" I says. 

So Lord Craven said that he would give us a cottage 
on the place and I must call to see him next day at his 
hotel, which I did. 

And who should be there but Mr. Amos and Miss 
Patricia and they were the happiest looking pair of 
people that ever you did see, and the three of them 
were all having tea in the corridor. So they bade me 
approach, and Mr. Amos got up and laid his hand on 
my arm and says: 

"Ridges, I want to speak to you privately," and he 
was that solemn I began to be afraid I had done 
something to offend him, so I says : 

"Very good, sir," and he led me into the cafe and 
sat me down at a table and ordered a pint of cham- 
pagne and says very softly: 

"Ridges, I want to ask your permission to marry 
Miss Patricia." 

And I was that surprised and overjoyed that I 
nearly lost my voice, but I seized my glass and I raised 
it and said : 

"Mr. Amos," I says, "God bless you both! God 
bless you!" 

And I drank it orf. Then Mr. Amos held out his 
hand and I took it hard and he says : 

172 



SAFE AT ANCHOR 

"Thank you, Ridges. I promise you she will be 
the happiest woman in the world if I can make her so." 

So we went back and I smiled at Miss Patricia so 
that she might know that I knew, and then Lord Craven 
said he was going to get married himself in a week 
or two and he wanted Mr. Amos for best man because 
they had been at Oxford together and how the best 
thing would be for us all to go back to England on the 
same ship in each other's company. So I bade them 
adoo and went and told Eliza and she agreed that if we 
were going we might as well be married at once and 
have our honeymoon on the ocean ; but there is no need 
to go into that part, for her father who is the electrician 
in Astoria raised an orrid row and was very shirty 
about her marrying an Englishman and leaving the 
country but her brother is a very decent young fellow. 
So in the end we were married and Lord Craven and 
Mr. Amos and Miss Patricia were at the wedding and 
kissed the bride, and I did not care in the least ; and a 
few days later Miss Patricia became Mrs. Gerard and 
everybody except Miss Harriet was as jolly as if they 
had never lost their money, and Mr. Carter quite hilari- 
ous, not to say elevated, and then I learned the reason 
that they had not got married before was because Mr. 
Amos had no money and Miss Patricia had and he 
was too proud, but now he had made a lot of money 
with his plays and poetry and she had none, but they 
had loved each other all along, and all the swellest 

173 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

people came to the wedding just as if nothing had hap- 
pened although it was a church affair and no breakfast 
afterwards except for the family. 

That is how we are here in Primrose Lodge which 
used to belong to the head gamekeeper in the old days, 
and Aunt Jane is coming from Wapping-on-Velley to 
spend her declining years with us, which is better than 
having Eliza's father and mother if I do say it. The 
trip over was by no means unalloyed bliss, as they say 
in books, but it was not Eliza's fault but of my stomach. 
But now all is as happy as can be. 

Yesterday a letter came from New York from Eve- 
lyn Raymond telling us the latest news about the family 
and I will copy it in here : 

The St. Anthony, 
Broadway, May 6. 

Dear Little Eliza: Your nice note came duly to hand and 
I hasten to reply. You will doubtless be surprised to see that 
I have taken rooms here but an up-to-date actress must be 
a la mode. In a word, my dear little innocent Eliza, I have 
gone on the stage. Not in the chorus, O no! But really 
and truly on the stage, for I have a sort of fashion part in 
the Weber Company and wear clothes that would make that 
ridiculous Harriet Carter scream with envy. 

By the way, you will be interested to learn that the Carter 
family are really down and out and that Mr. Carter has gone 
to work again — in a bank. Some friends got him a job as 
third Vice-President of a trust company — it must be a trust 
company ! Mrs. Carter is keeping house on the flat you and 
Peter fixed up for her and I saw her the other day buying 
some tin pans at a department store. She was real nice when 
I spoke to her and said she could get them three cents cheaper 
than at some other place. She looked positively radiant with 

174 



SAFE AT ANCHOR 

joy. I honestly don't think she ever was as happy before. 
The best joke of all is that she says that nasty cat of a 
Harriet is going to become a stenographer. And what do 
you think ! Her wretched brother is in our company. On the 
level ! Can you believe it ! He does a sort of a Lord Dun- 
dreary part in the second act at eighteen per. But I have no 
use for him, although he has tried to make up to me and has 
asked me to supper several times. Little Willie is still at 
Groton and is going to remain there, and Mrs. Carter says 
they are going to send him to college if they have to eat 
beans six times a week to do it. The old woman is the stuff 
after all and I like her. She asked me to drop in if I ever 
was up her way; and I really think she meant it. I suppose 
Miss Patricia is enjoying herself immensely. She is the 
style that I suppose takes with the Britishers but I never 
cared for her particularly, although I know that you and 
Peter think the ground she walks on is sacred. But you two 
are a pair of old innocents anyway. Give my love to Peter 
(or if you prefer it, Mister Ridges) and write me all about 
Lord Craven and Craven Hall and what goes on and what 
the English swells are really like. Do you know I am begin- 
ning to believe that you and I never saw the real thing at all ? 
Good luck to you. With love from your old friend, 

Evelyn. 

P. S. My stage name is Doris Haselmere. 

That is quite a sporty letter for a parlor maid, isn't 
it? But I fancy Providence meant her for a actress 
and I have no criticism to make if she keeps honest and 
is a good one. So here is wishing her luck. 

Next v^^eek Lord Craven is to be married to Lady 
Grace Hamilton, and while he is away on his honey- 
moon Miss Patricia and Mr. Amos are to spend theirs 
here and I and Eliza will have the pleasure of waiting 
on them. After that they are going to visit Lord Craven 

175 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

for a month more, so by the time they leave I shall be 
better able to stand the break. Maybe I shall keep a 
note book and maybe not. There is not nearly so much 
to write about here, everything being more settled. But 
wotever America may be otherwise it is a good place 
to get a wife wotever the people may be like in 
general my ten years in service there was a small price 
to pay for the sake of being with Miss Patricia who is 
the sweetest and loveliest woman in the world — except, 
of course, Eliza. 



176 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY, 

We are not Carabinieri, 
We are r 'f Royalists, 
But we are Camorrists — 
The devil take the others! 

In Italy, when it rains, the man on the street mut- 
ters: "Piove! Governo ladro!" ("It rains! Thief of 
a government!") Oddly enough, this expression, 
originally coined by the Fnnfulla, an influential jour- 
nal, to ridicule the opponents of the government, really 
epitomizes the attitude of the average Italian toward 
the central authority. It is the vital word spoken in 
jest. The Italian — and particularly the Italian of the 
southern peninsula — is against government — any 
government, all government — on general principles. 
He and his forefathers went through a grim school, 
and they have not forgotten. 

The Italian, however republican in form his insti- 
tutions may be, is still the subject of a monarchy, and 
he has never fully grasped the Anglo-Saxon idea that 
even a king is subject to the law. In Italy no one 
thinks of questioning the legality of an arrest. With 
us, to do so is the first thought that comes. On the 

177 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Continent, the fact that an act is done by an official, 
by a man in striped trousers, places it above criticism. 
No matter how obvious an error may have been com- 
mitted, one is inevitably met by the placid assertion: 
"The government makes no mistakes." Neither has 
the idea of the sanctity of personal liberty ever been 
properly developed. There is no habeas corpus in Italy. 
Release on bail is legally possible, but difficult of 
achievement and little availed of. A man's house is not 
"his castle." The law itself is usually complicated and 
slow in remedial and criminal matters, and justice is 
apt to be blind unless the right sort of eye doctor — a 
deputy or a senator — is called in. Bureaucracy has 
perpetuated the Italian's inherited distrust of govern- 
ment and distaste for legal process, and drives him still 
to seek his ends in many cases by influence, bribery, or 
— the Camorra. 

Rarely can we point to a social phenomenon in this 
country and say : "This is so because of something a 
hundred years ago." With us some one has an idea, 
and presto ! we are recalling judges, pulling down idols, 
"elevating" women to be sheriffs, and playing golf on 
Sundays. Where are the gods of yesterday? The 
pulse of the nation leaps at a single click of the Morse 
code. An injustice in Oklahoma brings a mass meet- 
ing together in Carnegie Hall. But the continuance 
of the Camorra in Italy to-day is directly due to the 
succession of tyrants who about a century ago allowed 

178 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

the patriots of Naples and Sicily to rot in prison or 
hung them up on scaffolds in the public squares. 

The Bourbon rule in the "Kingdom of the Two 
Sicilies"* was one of the most despicable in history. 
In eleven days in 1793 one hundred and twenty pro- 
fessors, physicians, and priests were executed by the 
public hangman In Naples. This was a mere fore- 
taste of what was coming. When Napoleon dethroned 
the Bourbons in 1805 and made his brother Joseph 
"King of Naples," there dawned an era of enlighten- 
ment and reform which continued when Joseph was 
succeeded by Joachim Murat in 1808 ; but the Congress 
of Vienna in 181 5 reinstated the old dynasty and re- 
called Ferdinand I, who had been lurking in Sardinia, 
to the throne. Then the horrors began again. A 
period of retrogression, of wholesale persecutions and 
executions, followed. Never was there anything like 
the nightmare of bloody politics which lasted through 
the reigns of Ferdinand I (1825), of Francis I (1830), 
of Ferdinand II (1859), ^^^ of Francis II, imtil the 
entry of Garibaldi into Naples in i860. 

The oppressions of the Bourbons and the struggle 
of the patriots of Italy for freedom and the Risorgl- 
mento stimulated secret organization. No other means 
to combat tyranny was, in fact, possible. To be known 
to have liberal ideas meant instant arrest, if not death. 



* Naples and Sicily were united under that name in 1734. 

179 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Under Ferdinand II there had been over twenty thou- 
sand political prisoners actually in prison at one time 
and thirty thousand more attendibili, confined in their 
houses.* The governor of Genoa complained to 
Mazzini's father because the youth "walked by himself 
at night, absorbed in thought." Said he: "We don't 
like young people thinking without knowing the sub- 
ject of their thoughts." The great society of the Car- 
bonari had provoked the counter-organization of the 
Calderoni, and had in turn given way to the "New 
Italy" of Mazzini. It is said on excellent authority 
that in 1820 there were seventy thousand persons in the 
city of Naples alone who belonged to secret societies. 
In this year we first hear of the Camorra by name, and 
for the next forty years it spread and flourished until 
it became so powerful that the government of the 
**Two Sicilies" had perforce to enter into treaty with 
it and finally (in i860) to turn over to it the policing 
of the city of Naples. Indeed, it may be that some 
such extra-legal organization was a practical neces- 
sity if existence were to be tolerable at all. 

Lombroso, in the "Growth of Crime," writes: 
"When the royal postal officials were in the habit of 
tampering with correspondence, when the police were 
bent on arresting the honest patriots and making use 



* G. M. Trevelyan, "Garibaldi and the Thousand," c. iii, p. 45. 
De Cesares F. di P., p. Ixix. 

180 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

of thieves as agents provocateurs, the necessity of 
things enhanced the value of the Camorra, which 
could always have a letter or a packet safely con- 
veyed, save you from a dagger thrust in prison, 
redeem you a stolen article for a fair sum, or, when 
quarrels and disputes arose, could get these settled 
on much more equitable terms and less costly than 
any one else or indeed the ordinary process of the law." 

This was the heyday of the Camorra as an organ- 
ization of criminals. Later it developed into some- 
thing more — a political ring under whose leash the 
back of southern Italy still quivers. 

The Neapolitan Camorra had its origin in Spain. 
The great Cervantes, in "Rinconeto y Contadillo," 
has drawn a marvellous picture of a brotherhood of 
thieves and malefactors who divided their evil profits 
witli the police and clergy. This was "La Garduna" 
— the mother of the Camorra. As early as 14 17 it 
had rules, customs, and officers identical with those 
of the Camorra of the nineteenth century, and, like 
it, flourished in the jails, which were practically under 
its control. Undoubtedly this organization found its 
way into Sicily and Naples in the wake of the Span- 
ish occupation of the thirteenth century, and ger- 
minated in the loathsome prisons of the period until 
it was ready to burst forth into open activity under 
the Bourbons. 

The word camorra comes from the Spanish chamarra 

181 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

(in Italian gamurra, hence taharra, taharro), meaning 
a **cloak" usually affected by thieves and bullies. 
From this is derived the Spanish word camorra, "a 
quarrel with fists," and the phrase hacer camorra, 
fairly translatable as ''to look for trouble." It would 
be difficult to find any closer definition than this last 
of the business of the Neapolitan Camorra. 

Giuseppi Alongi, a pupil and follower of Lombroso, 
and one of the principal Italian authorities upon the 
subject, says concerning the rise of the Neapolitan 
organization : 

'The Camorra certainly had its birth in the prisons 
of Naples. Old offenders regarded themselves as 
aristocrats of crime, and behaved as masters in their 
own households, forming a sort of privileged class 
within the prison. The idea of levying taxes on new- 
comers came as natural to them as that among soldiers 
of calling upon the recruit to 'pay his footing.' That 
the Neapolitan Camorra is so mixed up with religion 
is due to the fact that the local criminal unites ferocity 
with religious superstition, while the amazing devo- 
tion of the population to 'Our Lady of Mount Car- 
mel,' who is venerated as the symbol of maternal 
love, offers an easy means of exploiting their credulity. 
It became the custom, therefore, to exact tolls from 
the people, under the pretence that they were in- 
tended for religious purposes. The Camorrists have 
four hundred feasts every year, and the Church 

182 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

of Mount Carmel in Naples is still their religious 
centre." 

, In the days from 1820 to i860, to be a Camorrist 
was a matter of pride and a rare distinction among 
the baser sort. So far from concealing his member- 
ship in it, the Camorrista vaunted it abroad, even 
affecting a peculiar costume which rendered him un- 
mistakable. A red necktie, the loose ends of which 
floated over either shotiler, a parti-colored sash, and 
a cane heavily loaded with brass rings, marked him 
as a ''bad man" during this romantic period. But, 
however picturesque it may have been, the Camorra 
soon became the most dreaded and loathsome secret 
society in the world. 

Only those could become members who had shown 
their preference for the mcda vita and given tangible 
evidence of their criminality. Candidates who had 
qualified for the novitiate proved their suitability for 
the next grade by performing some brutal act, such 
as slitting an old man's throat from ear to ear. 

The business of the Camorra was organized extor- 
tion, assisted by murder and violence. The Camorrist 
was a bully — one who could use the knife. In this he 
was instructed until he became a master in artistic 
stabbing with a fair knowledge of anatomy. Various 
styles of knives were used for different purposes: the 
settesoldi, for scarring and unimportant duelling 
among members; the '0 zumpafuosso, or deadly offi- 

183 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

cial knife, for the "jumping duel"; the triangolo for 
murders, etc. The actual slashing was usually done 
not by the Camorrist himself, but by some aspirant 
to membership in the society who desired to give 
proof of his virtue, and who, rather as a favor, was 
permitted to take all the chances. Accordingly the 
"honored" youth selected the right knife and lay in 
wait for his victim, assisted by a palo, or "stall," 
who gave warning of danger and perhaps arranged 
for the victim to stumble just as the blow was to be 
struck. Secret signals facilitated matters. Even to- 
day, the American in Naples who is not "afraid to 
go home in the dark" had best hasten his steps if he 
hears near by the bark of a dog, the mew of a cat, 
the crow of a cock, or a sneeze, any one of which does 
not carry conviction as to its genuine character. 
These are all common Camorrist signals of attack; 
while popular tunes such as ''Oi ne\ traseteve, ca 
chiora!" ("Go in, for it rains!") are warnings of the 
approach of danger. 

The Camorra levied blackmail upon all gambling 
enterprises, brothels, drivers of public vehicles, boat- 
men, beggars, prostitutes, thieves, waiters, porters, 
marketmen, fruit-sellers, small tradesmen, lottery 
winners, and pawnbrokers, controlled all the smug- 
gling and coined bogus money, and the funds thus 
secured were divided among (i) the police, (2) the 
members in jail, (3) the aged, (4) widows and orphans 

184 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

of those who had died in the cause of crime, (5) the 
higher officers, (6) whatever saint or shrine it was 
desired to propitiate, and (7) the "screenings" went 
to the men who did the dirty work. 

The Camorrists made use of picture signs for names, 
and a secret symboHsm to express their meanings, 
written or spoken. They also had an argot, or dialect, 
which has impressed itself upon the language of the 
entire lower class of Naples. All criminals have a 
jargon of their own, often picturesque, frequently hu- 
morous, and the slang of the Camorrist differed little 
from that of other associations of crooks here and 
elsewhere, save in its greater volume. Much of the 
Camorrist vocabulary has passed into common use, 
and it is difficult to determine now what words are 
of strictly Camorristic origin, although the following 
are supposed to be so : 

Freddare, "to turn a man cold" (to kill). 

Agnello, "lamb" (victim). 

II morto, "the dead one" (one robbed). 

La Misericordia, "Compassion" (combination knife and 

dagger). 
Bocca, "mouth" (pistol). 
Tric-4rac (revolver). 
Sorci fieri, "black rats" (night patrol). 
Asparago* "asparagus" (a gendarme who has been tricked— 

"a stiff"). 



* Compare the Florentine carcisfo "artichoke" for gendarme. 
Si accolla, "he sticks to it" (he shoulders the others* crime). 

i8s 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

In all there are said to be about five thousand 
words in the Camorrist vocabulary; but a large num- 
ber of these are simply Neapolitan slang, for invent- 
ing which every Neapolitan has a gift. 

No more interesting example of this slang has ever 
come to light than in the secret diary of Tobia Basile 
(nicknamed "Scarpia Leggia") who, after serving 
thirty years in prison, returned to the haunts of 
men to teach the picciotti the forms and ceremonies 
of the society and to instruct them in its secret lan- 
guage. This strange old man, more literate than 
most Camorrists, kept a diary in the ancient symbol- 
ism of the brotherhood. Having become bored by 
his wife he murdered her, walled her body up in the 
kitchen, and recorded what he had done, thus : 

May I, "The violets are out." 

May 7, "Water to the beans." 

June II, "I have pruned my garden." 

Aug. 10, "How beautiful is the sun." 

Sept. 12, "So many fine sheep are passing." 

Time passed, and a contractor, rebuilding the wall, 
came upon the corpse. Tobia denied his guilt, but his 
diary was found, as well as a Camorrist translator. 
** Water to the beans." That beautiful metaphor 
was shown to mean naught else but "I have killed 
and buried her!" And in the face of his own diary 
Tobia admitted the accuracy of his record. "Water 
to the beans !" 

i86 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

The first grade of aspirants to the Camorra was 
that of the gorzone di mala vita, or "apprentice," 
who was practically a servant, errand-boy, or valet 
for his masters or sponsors, and was known as a 
giovine onorato, or honored youth. The second grade 
was that of the picciotfi sggaro, or novice, originally 
difficult of attainment and often requiring from six 
to ten years of service. The third or final stage was 
that of the capo paranea, head of a local gang, or 
"district leader." 

The society was divided into twelve centres, cor- 
responding to the twelve quarters of the city of 
Naples, each centre being, in turn, subdivided into 
paranze and having a separate or individual purse. 
The chief of each paranza was elected, and was the 
strongest or boldest man in the gang. In earlier days 
he combined the office of president, which carried 
with it only the limited authority to call meetings, 
with that of cashier, which involved the advantage 
of being able to divide the camorra, or proceeds of 
crime. The leader was entitled himself to the sbruffo, 
a percentage due by "right of camorra"; and this 
percentage belongs to-day in every case to the Ca- 
morrist who has planned or directed the particular 
crime involved. The leaders of the twelve divisions 
met, just as they occasionally do now, to discuss 
affairs of vital importance, but in most matters the 
individual sections were autonomous. 

187 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

According to the confession of an old Camorrist, 
the lowest grade of the society was attained by the fol- 
lowing rite : 

A general meeting of the district was called, at 
which the sponsor formally introduced the candidate 
to the gathering. The leader stood in the midst of 
his fellow Camorrists, all of whom were drawn up 
in a circle according to seniority. If the treasurer 
was present the president had three votes, and the 
assembly was known in Camorrist slang as being cap' 
in trino — ^three in one: if absent, the society was 
known as cap' in testa, which means "the supreme 
triad." All stood perfectly motionless, with arms 
folded across their breasts and with bowed heads. 
The president, addressing the neophyte, said: 

"Knowest thou the conditions and what thou must 
do to become an honored youth? Thou wilt endure 
misfortune upon misfortune, thou wilt be obliged to 
obey all the orders of the novices and the solemnly 
professed, and bring them useful gains to furnish them 
with useful .service." 

To this the neoph)rte replies : 

"Did I not wish to suffer adversities and hardships, 
I should not have troubled the society." 

After a favorable vote on the admission of the can- 
didate, he was led forward and permitted to kiss each 
member once upon the mouth. The president he 
kissed twice. Certain favors were then asked of the 

i88 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

assembly by the neophyte, and the president made 
reply : 

"The favors asked shall be accorded according to 
our rules. Our terms of membership are these : 

"First: That thou go not singing or rowing or 
brawling in the public streets. 

"Secondly: That thou respect the novices and 
whatsoever instructions they may give thee. 

"Thirdly : That thou obey whole-heartedly our pro- 
fessed members and carry out their commissions." 

After a few tests of the candidate he was handed 
over to the "novice master," a full-fledged mem- 
ber under whom he was to serve his term of probation. 
The period of his apprenticeship depended upon the 
zeal, ability, and ready obedience which he displayed 
in the course of it. He was absolutely at the mercy 
of his master, and if so commanded he must substi- 
tute himself for another and take the latter's crimes 
upon his own shoulders; but one who thus made of 
himself a "martyr" was promoted to a higher grade 
in the society. 

Promotion to such higher grades involved stricter 
examination and the Camorrist admonition : 

"Shouldst thou see even thine own father stab a 
companion or one of the brethren, thou art bound to 
defend thy comrade at the cost of stabbing or wound- 
ing thy father; and God help thee shouldst thou 
traffic with traitors and spies 1" 

189 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Standing with one foot in the galleys and the other 
in the grave (symbolically), he swore to kill anybody, 
even himself, should that be the wish of the society. 
The kissing ceremqny was then renewed, and the 
candidate was initiated fully into the secrets of the 
organization. The number of weapons in the posses- 
sion of the Camorra was revealed to him, the names 
of brethren under the ban of suspicion, the names of 
all novices and postulants, as well as the society pass- 
word and the code of recognition signs. 

These points of ritual passed, the candidate was 
then ready for the blood ceremony, which consisted 
in tasting the blood of each member of the assembly, 
drawn from a small knife- wound made for the pur- 
pose, and finally the combat. For this necessary 
part of the ceremony of initiation, the candidate was 
required to select an opponent from the assembly. 
The champions then chose their daggers, picked their 
seconds, unshirted themselves — and the fight was on. 
It was a rule that they must aim only at the muscles 
of the arm, and the president, acting as capo di ti- 
ranta (master of combat) was there to see that the 
rule was obeyed. At the first drawing of blood the 
combat was over, and the victor was brought for- 
ward to suck the blood of the wound and embrace 
his adversary. If the newly promoted member 
happened to be the loser, he had to resume the 
fight later on with another champion; and not until 

190 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

he had won in a test was he definitely "passed" 
and "raised." 

Many other bloody tests have been attributed to 
this ceremony of the Camorra; but these, as well as 
the foregoing in its strict form, have been largely 
done away with, except in the prisons, where the so- 
ciety still retains its formality. There remained, as 
a final step in the ritual of initiation, the tatooing 
of two hearts joined together with two keys. "Men 
of honor ought to have heart enough for two people, 
that is to say, have a large heart; men bound only 
to their colleagues and whose heart is closed as it were 
with a double key to all others." Sometimes a spider 
took the place of the hearts, symbolizing the industry 
of the Camorrist and the silence with which he weaves 
the web around his victim. This tattooing is still 
customary among Camorrists. 

The usual Camorrist tribunal consisted of a com- 
mittee of three members belonging to the district or- 
ganization, presided over by the Camorrist of highest 
rank among them, and settled ordinary disputes and 
punishments. From this there was an appeal in more 
important matters to the central committee of twelve. 
This latter body elected a supreme head for the entire 
society, and passed on matters of general policy. It 
also sat as a court of original and final jurisdiction 
in cases of treachery to the society, such as betray- 
ing its secrets or embezzling its funds, imposed the 

191 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

death penalty, and appointed the executioners. Its 
decrees were carried out with blind obedience, although 
not infrequently the death sentence was commuted 
to that of disfiguration. 

Such, then, was the society which in 1820 already 
controlled the prisons, dealt in assassination and rob- 
bery, levied blackmail upon all classes, trafficked in 
every sort of depravity, and had a rank and file upon 
which its leaders could absolutely rely. It had no 
political creed, nor did it interest itself in anything 
except crime. It had greater solidarity than the po- 
lice, which was almost equally corrupt. Dreaded by 
all, it was utilized by all, for it could do that which 
the police could not do. 

The city officials of Naples had a very tender re- 
gard for the feelings of "the brethren of the dagger." 
In 1829 certain reformers proposed building a wall 
around a notoriously evil street, so that at night, 
under lock and key, the inhabitants could be properly 
"segregated." But the Camorra did not take kindly 
to the suggestion, and a letter was left with the func- 
tionary in charge of the matter :* 

Naples, September, 1829. 
Sir: 

Are you not aware that in confining these poor girls in 
walls you act as if they were condemned to the lowest depths 
of hell ? The prefect of police and the intendant who ordered 



* H. D. Sedgwick, "Letters from Italy.' 

192 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

this brutal act have no heart. . . . We are here who have 
much heart and are always ready to shed our own blood for 
them, and to cut the throats of those who shall do anything 
toward walling up that street. With all humility we kiss your 
hands. N. N. 

The street was not walled up, the perfect of the 
police discovering that he had too much heart. 

Having no politics, the Camorrists became, as it 
were, Hessians in politico-criminal activity. They 
were loyal only to themselves, their favorite song 
being : 

"Nui non simmo gravanari, 
Nui non simmo realisti, 
Ma nui simmo Camorristi, 
Cuffiano a chilli' e a chisti!" 

(We are not Carabinieri, 
We are not royalists. 
But we are Camorrists — 
The devil take the others !) 

Under the Bourbons the police recognized and used 
the Camorra as their secret agents and granted its 
members immunity in return for information and as- 
sistance. Both preyed on the honest citizen, and 
existed by extortion and blackmail. "The govern- 
ment and the Camorra hunted with one leash." Yet, 
because the police were regarded as the instruments 
of despotism, the people came to look upon the Ca- 
morrists (who, technically at least, were hostile to 

193 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

authority) as allies against tyranny. It was at this 
period of Italian history that the present distrust of 
government and distaste for law had its rise, as well 
as the popular sympathy for all victims of legal proc- 
ess and hatred for all who wear the uniform of the 
police. The Camorra still appeals to the dread of 
tyranny in the heart of the south Italian to which in 
large measure, by its complicity, it contributed. Thus 
the love of liberty was made an excuse for traffic with 
criminals; thus was fostered the omerta, the per- 
verted code of honor which makes it obligatory upon 
a victim to shield his assassin from the law ; and thus 
was born the loathing of all authority which still ob- 
tains among the descendants of the victims of Ferdi- 
nand's atrocious system, which, whatever their ori- 
gin, gave the mala vita — brigandage, the Mafia and 
the Camorra — their virulence and tenacity. 

In 1848 the Camorra had become so powerful that 
Ferdinand II actually negotiated with it for support; 
but the society demanded too much in return and 
the plan fell through. On this account the Camorra 
threatened to bring on a revolution! In this it was 
not successful, but it now began openly to affect revo- 
lutionary ideas and pretend to be the friend of liberty, 
its imprisoned members posing as patriots, victims 
of tyranny. 

Thus it gained enormously in prestige and mem- 
bership, while the throne became less and less secure. 

194 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

Ferdinand II granted a general amnesty in order to 
heighten his popularity, and the Camorrists who had 
been in jail now had to be reckoned with in addition 
to those outside. In 1859 Ferdinand died and Francis 
II seated himself on the quaking throne. His prefect 
of police, Liborio Romano, whom history has accused 
of plotting the Bourbon overthrow with Garibaldi and 
of playing both ends against the middle, had either per- 
force or with malice prepense conceived the scheme of 
harnessing the Camorra by turning over to it the main- 
tenance of order in the city. The police had become 
demoralized and needed rejuvenating, he said. Francis 
II thereupon had another jail delivery, and "Don Libo- 
rio" organized a "National Guard" and enlisted 
throngs of Camorrists in it, while in the gendarmerie 
he recruited the picciotti as rank and file and installed 
the regular Camorrists as brigadiers. 

Then came the news that Garibaldi was marching 
upon Naples. Romano, still ostensibly acting for the 
best interests of his royal master, urged the latter's 
departure from the capital. The revolution was coming. 
In some indefinable way, people who were for the 
Bourbons yesterday saw to-day the impossibility of 
the continuance of the dynasty. The cat was ready 
to jump, but it had not jumped yet. Whatever may 
have been Romano's real motives so far as the Bour- 
bons were concerned, the fact remains that his control 
over the national militia and police, during the days 

195 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

and nights just prior to the departure of the King and 
the arrival of Garibaldi, resulted in a vigilance on 
their part which protected property and maintained an 
order otherwise impossible.* Garibaldi at last arrived, 
with Romano's Camorrist police on hand to cheer 
loudly for "Victor Emmanuel and Italy United!" and 
to knock on the head or stick a knife into the gizzard 
of any one who seemed lukewarm in his reception of 
the conquering hero. The cat jumped — assisted by 
the Camorra. The liberals were in, and with them 
the Camorrists, as the saying is, "with both feet." 
Thus, perhaps for the first time in history, was a society 
of criminals recognized officially by the government 
and intrusted with the task of policing themselves. 

From i860 on the Camorra entered upon a new 
phase, a sort of duplex existence, having on the one 
hand its old criminal organization (otherwise known 
as the Camtorra bassa) and on the other a group of 
politicians or ring with wide-spread ramifications, 
closely affiliated with the society and dealing either 
directly with it or through its more influential and 
fashionable members, much as a candidate for office 
in New York might have secured the support of the 
"Paul Kelly Gang" through the offices of the politician 
under whose patronage it existed. This "smart set" 
and the ring connected with it was known as the 



* G. M. Trevelyan, "Garibaldi and the Thousand," c. i., p. 19. 

196 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

Camorra alta or Camorra elegante, and from the advent 
of Garibaldi to the present time the strictly criminal 
operations of the society have been secondary in impor- 
tance to its political significance. Its members became 
not merely crooks, but "protected" crooks, since they 
gave office to men who would look after them in return, 
and the result was the alliance of politics and crime in 
the political history of Southern Italy during the last 
fifty years. 

It is hardly likely that foxy old "Don Liborio" an- 
ticipated any such far-reaching result of his extraor- 
dinary manoeuvre with the Camorra. It was not many 
weeks, however, before the Camorrists who had been 
given public office and continued under Garibaldi, began 
to show themselves in their true colors, and to use 
every opportunity for blackmail and private vengeance. 
They had been given charge of the octroi, or taxes 
levied at the city gates, and these decreased, under Sal- 
vatore di Crescenza, from forty thousand to one thou- 
sand ducats per day. Another Camorrist collector, 
Pasquale Menotte, had the effrontery to turn in, on 
one occasion, the princely sum of exactly four cents. 
It became absolutely necessary to get rid of them at 
any cost, and to drive them out of the police and army, 
which they now permeated. Mild measures were found 
insufficient, and as early as 1862 a raid was conducted 
by the government upon the organization — Sparenta, 
the Minister of PoHce, arresting three hundred Camor- 

197 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

lists in one day. But he accomplished little. From this 
time on until 1900 the history of the Camorra is that 
of a corrupt political ring having a standing army of 
crooks and rascals by means of which to carry out 
its bargains. 

During this period many serious attempts were made 
to exterminate it, but practically to no purpose. In 
1863 another fruitless series of raids filled the jails of 
Naples, and even of Florence and Turin, with its mem- 
bers ; but the society continued to flourish — less openly. 
The resignation of Nicotera as Prime Minister in 1876 
was followed by a burst of activity among the Camor- 
rists, but in 1877 the government made a serious effort 
to put down the Mafia in Sicily, while in 1880 the 
murder of Bonelli in a foul dive of the Camorra in 
Naples resulted in the prosecution of five Camorrists 
for his murder. The trial, like that of 1911-12, took 
place, for reasons of safety, at Viterbo. The witnesses 
testified freely upon every subject save the Camorra, 
and could not be induced to suggest that the assassina- 
tion had been the result of a conspiracy. "The word 
Camorra seemed to burn their tongues." The jury 
were so impressed by the obvious terror which the soci- 
ety inspired in the Neapolitans that they found all the 
five — Esposito, Romano, Tiniscalchi, Langella, and 
Trombetta — guilty, and they were sentenced to forced 
labor in the galleys. 

Apparently there was a sort, of renaissance of the 

198 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

Camorra about 1880, at the death of Victor Emmanuel 
II, and under the new administration of Humbert it 
began to be increasingly active in political affairs. At 
this time the Camorra alta included lawyers, magis- 
trates, school-teachers, holders of high office, and even 
cabinet ministers. The writer does not mean that these 
men went through the rites of initiation or served an 
apprenticeship with the knife, but the whole villainous 
power of the Camorra was at their backs, and they 
utilized it as they saw fit. 

The "Ring," affiliated as it is with the leaders of the 
society, is still the most dangerous manifestation of the 
Camorra. Historically, it is true, it was known as the 
alta Camorra or Camorra elegante, but in ordinary 
parlance these terms are generally used to describe 
Camorrists more closely related to the actual district 
organizations, yet of a superior social order — men who 
perhaps have graduated from leadership into the more 
aristocratic if equally shady purlieus of crime. These 
handle the elections and deliver the vote, own a gam- 
bling-house or two, or even more disreputable estab- 
lishments, select likely victims of society's offscourings 
for blackmail, and act as go-betweens between the Ring 
and the organization. They also furnish the influence 
when it is needed to get Camorrists out of trouble, 
and mix freely in the fast life of Naples and elsewhere. 
The power of the Ring reached its climax in 1900. 

In return for the services of the Camorra bassa in 

199 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

electing its deputies to office, the government saw to 
it that the criminal activities of the society were not 
interfered with. Prefects who sought to do their duty 
found themsleves removed from office or transferred 
to other communes, and the blight of the Camorra fell 
upon Parliament, where it controlled a number of 
deputies from the provinces of "Capitanata" ; all gov- 
ernmental interference with the Camorra was blocked, 
and Italian politics weltered in corruption. 

Upon the assassination of King Humbert, in 1900, 
the situation in Naples was as bad as that of New 
York City in the days of the Tweed Ring. The igno- 
rant Neapolitans sympathized with the Camorrists as 
against the police, and voted as they were directed. 
Almost all the lower classes were affiliated in some 
indirect way with the society, much as they are in New 
York City with Tammany to-day. The Ring absolutely 
controlled all but three of the newspapers published in 
the city. The lowest depths had been reached in every 
department of municipal and provincial administration, 
and even the hospitals and orphan asylums had been 
plundered to such an extent that there was nothing 
left for the thieves to get away with. 

At this crisis the Socialist newspaper. La Propa- 
ganda, courageously sprang to the attack of the com- 
munal administration, in the persons of the S)mdic 
Summonte and the Deputy Casale, who, smarting under 
the lash of its excoriation, brought an action of libel 

200 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

against its editor. Heretofore similar attacks had come 
to nothing, but the facts were so notorious that Sum- 
monte evaded service and abandoned his associate, and 
Casale, facing the necessity of explaining how he could 
support a luxurious establishment on no salary, en- 
deavored to withdraw the action. The Public Minister 
himself announced that ro witnesses need be summoned 
for the defense, and publicly expressed his indignation 
that a governmental officer, Commendatore F. S. Gar- 
guilo, Sustituto Procuratore Generale of the Court of 
Cassation in Naples, should have accepted a retainer 
for Casale. The tribunal handed down a decision find- 
ing that the facts asseverated by La Propaganda were 
fully proved and, referring to the influence of Casale, 
said: "The immorality thence emanating is such as to 
nauseate every honest conscience, and to affirm this in 
a verdict is the commencement of regeneration." 

This was, indeed, the commencement of a temporary 
regeneration. Casale was forced to resign his seat in 
Parliament and in the provincial council. The entire 
municipal council resigned, and, amid the roarings of 
the Neapolitan Camorrist press, the president of the 
Council of Ministers, Senator Saracco, proposed and 
secured a royal commission of inquiry of plenipoten- 
tiary powers, with a royal commissioner to administer 
the commune of Naples. The report of this commis- 
sion, in two volumes of nine hundred pages each, 
draws a shocking picture of municipal depravity, in 

201 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

which Casale appeared as recommending criminals to 
public office, selling places for cash, and holding up 
payments to the city's creditors until he had been 
"seen." He was proved to have received thirty thou- 
sand lire for securing a subsidy for a steamship com- 
pany, and sixty thousand lire for getting a franchise 
for a street railway. It appeared that the corruption 
in the educational departments passed description, that 
concessions were hawked about to the highest bidder, 
and that in one deal — the "Scandalous Loan Contract," 
so called — five hundred thousand lire had been divided 
between Scarfoglio, Summonte, Casale, and Delicto. 
This Scarfoglio, the editor of // Matino, and the clev- 
erest journalist in Naples, was exposed as the Ring's 
intermediary, and his wife, the celebrated novelist, Ma- 
tilde Serao, was demonstrated to have been a trafficker 
in posts and places. The trial and exposures created a 
furore all over Italy. The Prime Minister refused to 
continue the Royal Commission and announced a gen- 
eral election, and, amid the greatest excitement, the 
Camorra rallied all its forces for its final struggle in 
politics. But the citizens of Naples had had enough 
of the Ring for the time being, and buried all the 
society's candidates under an avalanche of votes. This 
was the severest blow ever dealt to the political influ- 
ence of the Camorra. 

The Casale trial marks the last stage of the Camorra's 
history to date. America has had too many ''rings" 

202 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

of her own to care to delve deeply into the slime of 
Italian politics. The Camorra regularly delivers the 
votes of the organization to governmental candidates, 
and exerts a powerful influence in the Chamber of 
Deputies. It still flourishes in Naples, and continues in 
a somewhat modified form its old formalities and fes- 
tivities; but its life is hidden and it works in secret. 
The solidarity of the organization has yielded to a 
growing independence on the part of local leaders, 
whose authority is often usurped by some successful 
hasista (burglary planner). The big coups become 
fewer as the years go on, the "stakes" for which the 
criminal game is played smaller and smaller. 

Police Inspector Simonetti, who had many years' 
experience in Naples, gave evidence before the Viterbo 
Assize on June 8, 191 1, as follows : 

"The Camorra truly exists at Naples, and signifies 
violence and absolutism. Formerly it had severe laws 
and iron regulations, and all the gains derived from 
criminal undertakings were divided among all the lead- 
ers. There was blind, absolute obedience to the chiefs. 
In a word, the Camorra was a state within a state. 

"To-day this collectivism, this blind obedience, exists 
no longer. All the Camorrists respect one another but 
they act every man for himself. 

"The Camorra exerts its energies in divers ways. 
The first rung in the Camorrist ladder is the exploita- 
tion of one or more women; the second, the horse- fair 

203 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

sales and public auctions of pawned goods. The Ca- 
morrists go to these latter with the special object of 
frightening away all would-be non-Camorrist buyers. 
Usury constitutes another special source of lucre, and 
at Naples is exercised on a very large scale. The Ca- 
morrist begins by lending a sum of five francs, at one 
franc per week interest, in such fashion that the gain 
grows a hundredfold, so that the Camorrist who began 
with five- franc loans is able to lend enormous sums to 
noblemen in need of funds. For instance, the Camorrist 
loans ten thousand lire, but exacts a receipt for twenty 
thousand lire, and gives goods in place of money, these 
goods being subsequently bought back at low prices by 
the selfsame usurers. Another great industry of the 
Neapolitan Camorra is the receipt of stolen goods; 
practically all the receivers of such in Naples are mem- 
bers of the Camorra." 

Governor Abbate, who for thirty years past has been 
chief warder of the prisons at Pozzuoli near Naples 
(the ancient Puteoli at which St. Paul sojourned for 
seven days on his way to Rome), gave evidence before 
the Viterbo Assize on June 13, 191 1 : 

*Tn the course of my thirty years' experience I have 
had the worst scum of the Neapolitan Camorra pass 
through my hands. I have never met a gentleman nor 
an individual capable of speaking the truth among 
them. I have never been without a contingent of 
Camorrists in my prison. I always follow the system 

204 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

adopted in most other Italian prisons of putting all 
the Camorrist prisoners together in a pack by them- 
selves. When new inmates come, they spontaneously 
declare if they be Camorrists, just as one might state 
his nationality or his religion. I group them accord- 
ingly with the rest of their fellows. They know they 
will be so treated; and unless we follow this system 
a perfect inferno of terrorism ensues. The Camorrists 
seize the victuals, the clothes and underwear of the non- 
Camorrist inmates, whom, in fact, they despoil in every 
way imaginable. 

*T come to learn the grades of my Camorrist pris- 
oners inasmuch as Camorrists, probationers, freshmen, 
and the rank and file, show studious obedience to their 
seniors and chiefs, whom they salute with the title 
of 'master.' " 

The Camorrist, in addition to exploiting women, 
still levies toll on boatmen, waiters, cab-drivers, fruit- 
sellers, and porters, and, under guise of protecting 
the householder from the Camorrists, extorts each 
week small sums from the ordinary citizen. The mean- 
est work of these "mean thieves" is the robbing of emi- 
grants about to embark, from whom they steal clothing 
and money and even the pitiful little packages of food 
they have provided for the voyage. 

A grade higher (or lower) are the gangs of burglars 
or thieves whose work is directed and planned, and the 
tools and means for which are furnished by a padrone 

205 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

or hasista. These will also do a job of stabbing and 
face-slashing at cut rates or for nothing to oblige a real 
friend of the "Beautifully Reformed Society." 

More elevated in the social scale is the type of Pro- 
fessor Rapi or Signor de Marinis, the Camorrista 
elegante, who on the fringe of society watches his 
chance to blackmail a society woman, ''arrange" vari- 
ous private sexual matters for some nobleman, or cheat 
a drunken aristocrat at the gaming-tables. 

Last, there is the traffic in the elections, which has 
been so advantageous to the government in the not 
distant past that its ostentatious attempts to drive out 
the Camorra, made in response to public demand, have 
usually been half-hearted, if not blatantly insincere. 

Yet the traditions of the Camorra still obtain, and 
in many of the prisons its influence is supreme. Wit- 
ness the deadly duel between twelve Camorrists and 
twelve Mafiusi in 1905 in the Pozzuoli penitentiary, in 
which five men were killed and the remainder had to 
be torn apart at the muzzles of the infantry. Witness 
also, and more strikingly, the trial and execution of 
Lubrano, who, confined in jail with other Camorristi, 
betrayed their secrets. In formal session behind prison 
walls, the ''brothers" sentenced him to death, and he 
was stabbed by a picciotto, who was thereupon "raised" 
to the highest grade of the society. 

The Camorrists still turn out in force for their reli- 
gious holidays, and visit Monte Vergine and other 

206 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

shrines in gala costume, accompanied by their women. 
Drunken rioting, debauchery, and knifings mark the 
devotions of this most religious sect. But they are a 
shoddy lot compared to the *'bravos" of the last cen- 
tury. At best, they are a lot of cheap crooks — "pikers" 
compared to a first-class cracksman — pimps, sharpers, 
petty thieves, and dealers in depravity, living off the 
proceeds of women and by the blackmail of the igno- 
rant and credulous. 

It would be ridiculous to deny that the Camorra 
exists in Naples, but it ^70uld be equally absurd to claim 
that it has the picturesqueness or virility of ancient 
times. Yet it is dreaded by all — by the Contessa in 
her boudoir, by the manager of the great trans-oceanic 
line, by the ragazzo on the street. The inquiry of the 
traveller reveals little concerning it. One will be confi- 
dently told that no such society or sect any longer 
exists, and with equal certainty that it is an active 
organization of criminals in close alliance with the 
government. Then, suddenly, some trifling incident 
occurs and your eyes are opened to the truth, at first 
hardly realized, that the crust of modern civilization 
is, in the case of southern Italy, superimposed upon 
conditions of life no more enlightened than they were 
a thousand years ago, and that hatred and distrust of 
government, ignorance, bigotry, and poverty make it 
a field fertile for any sort of superstition or belief, 
be it in the potency of the pulverized bones of young 

207 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

children for rheumatism, the efficacy of a stuffed dove 
sliding down a wire as a giver of fat harvest, or the 
deadly power of the Camorra. And where several mil- 
lion people believe in and fear the Camorra, if for no 
other reason, the Camorra or something akin to it is 
bound to exist. 

Before long you will begin to find out things for 
yourself. You may have your watch filched from your 
waistcoat pocket, and you may perhaps get it back 
through the agency of a shabby gentleman — introduced 
by the hotel porter — ^who, in spite of his rough exterior 
and threadbare clothing, proves marvellously skilful in 
tracing the stolen property — for a consideration. 

You may observe that sometimes, when you take a 
cab, a mysterious stranger will spring up beside the 
driver and accompany you to your destination. This is 
the "collector" for the Camorra — the parasite that feeds 
on every petty trade and occupation in the city. For 
the boatman shares his hire with a man who loiters on 
the dock ; the porter gives up a soldo or two on every 
job; and the beggar divides with the Camorra the 
profit from la misericordia.'^ Last of all, you may 
stumble into one of the quarters of Naples where the 
keeping of the order is practically intrusted to the Ca- 
morra; where the police do not go, save in squads; 
and where each householder or dive-keeper pays a 
weekly tax to the society for its supposed "protection," 



* Compassion. 

208 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

part of which goes higher up — to some ''delegato" or 
'^commissary" of the "P. S." * 

Or you may enter into the Church of Santa Maria 
del Carmine and find a throng of evil- faced men and 
women worshipping at the shrines and calling for the 
benediction of the Holy Trinity upon their criminal 
enterprises. It is said that sometimes they hang votive 
offerings of knives and daggers upon the altars, and 
religiously give Heaven its share out of the proceeds 
of their crimes, much as some of our own kings of 
finance and merchant princes, after a lifetime of fraud 
and violation of law, will seek to salve their consciences 
and buy an entrance to Paradise by founding a surgical 
hospital or endowing a chair of moral philosophy. But 
until, by chance, you meet a Camorrist funeral, you 
will have no conception of the real horror of the Ca- 
morra, with its procession of human parasites with 
their blinking eyes, their shuffling gait, their artificial 
sores and deformities, all crawling from their holes to 
shamble in the trail of the hearse that carries a famous 
hasista, a capo paranze, or a capo in testa to his grave. 

It is undoubtedly a fact that ease of living, which 
generates indolence, induces moral laxity, and a society 
composed in part of a hundred thousand homeless 
people, so poor that a few soldi represent a feast or a 
festival, who sleep in alleys, on the wharves, in the 
shrubbery of parks, or wherever night finds them, is 



*Publica Securezsa, or Public Safety — ^the regular police. 

209 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

a fertile recruiting ground for criminals. The poverty 
of the scum of Naples passes conception. Air and sky, 
climate and temperature, combine to induce a vagabond- 
age which inevitably is hostile to authority. The strong 
bully the weak; the man tyrannizes the woman; the 
padrone easily finds a ragged crew eager to do his 
bidding for a plate of macaroni and a flask of unspeak- 
able wine ; a well-dressed scoundrel becomes a demi-god 
by simple virtue of his clothes and paste-diamond scarf- 
pin; the thief that successfully evades the law is a hero; 
and the crook who stands in with the police is a poli- 
tician and a diplomat. The existence of the Camorra 
in its broad sense turns, not on the vigor of the gov- 
ernment or the honesty of the local functionaries, so 
much as on the conditions of the society in which it is 
to be found. 

Such is a glimpse of the Camorra, past and present, 
which, with its secret relations to the police, its terrors 
for the superstitious and timid, its attraction for the 
weak and evil-minded, its value to the politicians, its 
appeal to the natural hatred of the southern Italian 
for law and government, will continue so long as social 
conditions in Naples remain the same — until reform 
displaces indifference and incapacity, and education * 
and religion effectively unite to lift the Neapolitans out 



* The Italian Parliament approved in June last a bill proposed 
by the government authorizing, the establishment of 6,000 schools, 
mainly in the southern provinces, at a cost of 250,000,000 lire 
($50,000,000.) 



210 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

of the stew of their own grease. This is the sociological 
key to the Camorra, for camorra means nothing but 
moral delinquency, and moral delinquency is always 
the companion of ignorance, superstition, and poverty. 
These last are the three bad angels of southern Italy. 

For the reasons previously stated it is not surprising 
that the disclosures of 1900 had little or no permanent 
effect upon the criminal activities of the Camorra. The 
Ring and the politicians had, it is true, received a severe 
shock, but the minor criminals had not been affected 
and their hold on the population remained as strong 
as ever. Soon the Camorrists became as active at the 
elections, and the authorities as complacent, as before, 
and after a spasmodic pretence at virtue the "Public 
Safety'' relapsed into its old relations to the organi- 
zation.* 

The leaders of the new "Beautifully Reformed Soci- 
ety" were reported to be Giovanni Rapi, a suave and 
well-educated gambler, the Cashier of the organization 
and its chief adviser, surnamed "The Professor" for 
having once taught modem languages in the public 
schools at one and the same time a member of both 
the high and the low Camorra, and an international 
blackleg; Enrico Alfano, popularly known as "Ericone," 
the reorganizer of the society and its "Supreme Head," 
the boss of all the gangs, a fearless manipulator of 
elections, a Camorrist of the new order — of the revolver 



* See appendix. 

211 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

instead of the knife, the confidant of his godfather, 
Don Giro Vittozzi, — the third of the criminal trium- 
virate, the most mediaeval of all these mediaeval figures, 
and the Machiavelli of Naples. 

Known as the "Guardian Angel" or "Gonfessor" of 
the Gamorra, this priest was chaplain of the Naples 
Cemetery, and as such was accused of unsavory deal- 
ings of a ghoulish nature,* but he exerted wide power 
and influence, had the ear of the nobility and the entree 
to their palaces, and even claims to have been the con- 
fessor of the late King. Once, a cabby, not recognizing 
Vittozzi, overcharged him. The ecclesiastic protested, 
but the man was insistent. At length the priest paid 
the fare, saying, ''Remember that you have cheated Don 
Giro Vittozzi." That night the cabman was set upon 
and beaten almost beyond recognition. Next day he 
came crawling to the priest and craved permission to 
drive him for nothing. Many such stories are told of 
Vittozzi. 

Besides these leaders, there were a score of lesser 
lights — de Marinis, the "swell" of the Gamorra, a mixer 
in the "smart set," fond of horses and of diamonds, a 
go-between for the politicians ; Luigi Arena, the scien- 
tific head of the corps of burglars; Luigi Fucci, the 
"dummy" head of the Gamorra ; and Gennaro Guocolo, 
a shrewd "basista" and planner of burglarious cam- 



*In stolen burial shrouds and the bones of children. 

212 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

paigns, a little boss, grown arrogant from felonious 
success. The cast, indeed, is too long for recapitu- 
lation. 

These met and planned the tricks that were to be 
turned, assigned each "picciotto" to his duty, received 
and apportioned the proceeds, giving a due share to 
the police, and perhaps betraying a comrade or two 
for good measure — a crowd of dirty rascals, at whose 
activities the authorities connived more or less openly 
imtil the dual murder that forced the Italian govern- 
ment to recognize the gravity of the conditions existing 
in the criminal world of Naples. 

Then, in the twilight of the early morning of June 
6, 1906, two cartmen found the body of Cuocolo, the 
"hasista" covered with stab-wounds by a roadside on 
the slope of Vesuvius. At almost the same moment 
in the Via Nardones, in Naples, in a house directly 
opposite the Commissariat of Public Safety, the police 
discovered his wife, Maria Cutinelli Cuocolo, stabbed 
to death in her bed. Both were well-known Camorrists, 
and the crime bore every indication of being a "ven- 
detta." The first inquiries and formalities were con- 
ducted quite correctly. The police arrived on the spot 
and reported. The magistrate came more deliberately, 
but in due course. The two places where the crimes 
had occurred were duly examined, the two autopsies 
made, and a few witnesses heard. So far, everything 

213 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

had gone on just as it might have in New York or 
Boston. 

But then the Camorra got busy and things began to 
go differently. Meantime, however, the police had 
received an anonymous letter, in which the writer 
alleged that upon the night of the murder (June 5) a 
certain dinner party had taken place at an inn known 
as "Mimi a Mare" at Cupra Calastro in the commune 
of Torre del Greco, within a hundred yards of the 
scene of the homicide, at which the guests present were 
Enrico Alfano, Giro Alfano, his brother, Gennaro 
' Ibello, Giovanni Rapi, and another. While they were 
drinking wine and singing, a man suddenly entered — 
Mariano de Gennaro — and made a sign to Alfano, 
who pledged the visitor in a glass of "Marsala" and 
cried, "All is well. We will meet to-morrow." This 
the police easily verified, and the diners were thereupon 
all arrested and charged with being accomplices in the 
murder, simply because it appeared that they had been 
near by. There was no other evidence. Perhaps the 
wise police thought that if arrested these criminals 
would confess. At any rate, the merry-makers were all 
locked up and Magistrate Romano of Naples began an 
investigation. At this juncture of the drama entered 
Don Giro Vittozzi, girded in his priestly robes, a "Holy 
Man," in the odor of sanctity. 

He hastened, not to the magistrate having the case 
in charge, but to another, and induced him to begin 

214 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

an independent investigation. He swore by his priestly 
office that his godson, Giro Alfano, was innocent as 
well as the others. He whispered the names of the real 
murderers — two ex-convicts, Tommaso De Angelis and 
Gaetano Amodeo — and told where the evidence of their 
guilt could be obtained. He produced a witness, Gia- 
como Ascrittore, who had overheard them confessing 
their guilt and the motive for the murder — revenge be- 
cause Cuocolo had cheated them out of the proceeds of 
still another homicide. A police spy, Antonio Parlati, 
and Delagato Ippolito, a Commissary of Police, gave 
their active assistance to the crafty priest. The pris- 
oners were released, while in their stead De Angelis and 
Amodeo were thrown into jail. 

Then the storm broke. The decent men of Naples, 
the Socialists, the honest public of Italy, with one 
voice, demanded that an end should be put to these 
things — and the Camorra. The cry, taken up by the un- 
bought press, swept from the Gulf of Genoa to the 
Adriatic and to the Straits of Messina. The ears of 
the bureaucracy burned. Even Giolitti, the prime min- 
ister, listened. The government put its ear to the ground 
and heard the rumble of a political earthquake. They 
are shrewd, these Italian politicians. Instantly a bulle- 
tin was issued that the government had determined to 
exterminate the Camorra once and for all time. The 
honest and eager King found support ready to his hand 
and sent for the General commanding the Carabinieri 

215 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

and intrusted the matter to him personally. The Gen- 
eral at once ordered Captain Carlo Fabbroni to go to 
Naples and see what could be done. Fabbroni went, 
summoning first Erminio Capezzuti and Giuseppi Far- 
ris, non-commissioned officers of the rank of Maresci- 
allo,* sleuths of no mean order. In two months Capez- 
zuti had ensnared Gennaro Abattemaggio, a petty thief 
and blackmailer and an insignificant member of the 
Camorra, and induced him to turn informer against the 
society, and the house of Ascrittore was searched and 
a draft of what it was planned that he should testify 
to upon the charges against De Angelis and Amodeo 
was discovered written in the hand of Ippolito, the 
Delegato of Police! Thereupon the spy, Parlati, and 
Ascrittore were both arrested and thrown into prison 
on the charge of calumny. Vittozzi, the priest, was 
arrested for blackmail, and his residence was rummaged 
with the result that quantities of obscene photographs 
and pictures were discovered among the holy man's 
effects! Abattemaggio made a full confession and 
testified that the five diners at "Mimi a Mare" — ^the 
first arrested — had planned the murders and were 
awaiting at the inn to hear the good news of their 
accomplishment. 

According to his testimony, Cuocolo and his wife 
had been doomed to death by the central Council of the 



* About equivalent to our "quartermaster-sergeant. 

2l6 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

Camorra for treachery to the society and its decrees. 
Cuocolo, ostensibly a dealer in antiquities, was known 
to have for many years planned and organized the more 
important burglaries executed by his inferiors. Owing 
to his acquaintance with many wealthy persons and aris- 
tocrats he was able to furnish plans of their homes and 
the information necessary successfully to carry out 
his criminal schemes. In course of time he married 
Marie Cutinelli, a woman of doubtful reputation, 
known as 'Ta Bella Sorrentina." She, for her part, 
purchased immunity for Cuocolo by her relations with 
certain police officials, and her house became the scene 
of Camorrist debauchery. Thus, gradually, Cuocolo in 
turn affiliated himself with the police as a spy, and, to 
secure himself, occasionally betrayed an inferior mem- 
ber of the society. He also grew arrogant, defied the 
mandates of the heads of the society and cheated his 
fellows out of their share of the booty. For these 
and various other offences he was doomed to death 
by the Camorrist tribunal of high justice, at a meeting 
held upon May 26, 1906, and presided over by Enrico 
Alfano. He and his wife — who otherwise would have 
betrayed the assassins to the police — ^were thereupon 
stabbed to death, as related above, on the night of 
June 5, 1906, by divers members of the Camorra. The 
adventures of Capezzuti, who, to accomplish his ends, 
became a companion of the canaille of Naples, form a 
thrilling narrative. For our present purposes it is 

217 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

enough to say that in due course he formed the ac- 
quaintance of Abattemaggio, visited him in prison, and 
secured from him a Hst of the Camorrists and full 
information relative to the inner officers and workings 
of the organization. 

Meanwhile Enrico Alfano having been released from 
custody had for a while lived in Naples in his usual 
haunts, but, on learning that the Carabinieri had been 
ordered to take a hand in investigating the situation, 
he had gone first into hiding at Afragola, a village 
near Naples, and had afterward fled to New York, 
where he had been arrested later in the year by Detective 
Petrosino and sent back to Havre, while Italian police 
officers were on their way to America to take him back 
to Naples. Luckily, the French government was noti- 
fied in time, so that he was turned over to the Italian 
government instead of being set at liberty, and was 
delivered to the Carabinieri in June, 1907, at Bar- 
donacchia, on the frontier, together with fourteen other 
criminals who were being expelled from French terri- 
tory. Then Capezzuti, armed with the confession of 
Abattemaggio, made a clean sweep of all the Camor- 
rists against whom any evidence could be obtained and 
conducted wholesale raids upon their homes and hiding 
places, with the result that Rapi and the others were 
all arrested over again. 

During the next four years the Carabinieri found 

218 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

themselves blocked at every turn owing to the machina- 
tions of the Camorra. Abattemaggio made several inde- 
pendent confessions, and many false and fruitless leads 
had to be run down. The police (''Public Safety") 
were secretly hostile to the Carabinieri and hindered 
instead of helped them. Indeed, they assisted actively 
in the defence of the Camorra. Important documents 
were purloined. Evidence disappeared. Divers magis- 
trates carried on separate investigations, kept the evi- 
dence to themselves, and connived at the misconduct 
of the police. The Delagato Ippolito and his officers 
were tried upon the denunciation of Captain Fabbroni, 
and were all acquitted, for the Carabinieri were not 
called as witnesses, and the public prosecutor who 
had asked for a three-year jail sentence did not even 
appeal the case! Each side charged the other with 
incompetence and corruption and — nothing happened. 
The defendants, numbering thirty-six in all, were 
finally brought to trial at the Assize Court at Viterbo, 
forty miles from Rome, in the spring of 191 1, and at 
the present time "^ the proceedings are still going on. 
The case is, in fact, one of the most sensational on 
record and the newspapers of the civilized world have 
vied with one another in keeping it in the public eye 
during the year or more that has elapsed since the 
jury were empannelled, but there is no direct evidence 



* May, 1912. 

219 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

as to the perpetrators of the homicides, and, unfor- 
tunately, unless the jury find that some of the Camor- 
risti in the cage actually planned and executed the 
murder of the Cuocolos, the consequences to the de- 
fendants will not be serious, as mere "association for 
delinquency" with which most of them are charged is 
punishable with a shorter term of imprisonment than 
that which will have been suffered by the accused 
before the conclusion of their trial. Under Article 40 
of the Italian Penal Code, the defendants get credit 
for this period, so that in most instances a verdict of 
guilty at Viterbo would be followed by the immediate 
discharge of the prisoners.* This is the case with 
Rapi — although the evidence has brought out a new 
offence for which he may still be prosecuted. And, as 
blackmail, for which that astounding rascal, Don Giro 
Vittozzi, is being tried, is punishable with but three 
to five years' imprisonment, "that Holy Man," as he is 
termed by Alfano, will probably never be compelled 
to retire to a governmental cloister. 

But whatever the result of the trial, it is quite un- 
likely that the prosecution will have any lasting effect 
upon the Camorra, for while this cage full of petty 
criminals has engaged and is engaging the entire re- 
sources of the Italian government a thousand or so 
others have come into being, and an equal number 



♦Ten or more have been liberated already on this ground. 

220 



THE CAMORRA IN ITALY 

have grown to manhood and as picciotti have filled the 
places temporarily left vacant by their incarcerated su- 
periors. Nay, it is even probable that the public ex- 
ploitation of the activities of the society will give it a 
new standing and an increased fascination for the unem- 
ployed youth of Naples. 



221 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

It is not unnatural that a young, enthusiastic, and 
self-confident people should regard with condescen- 
sion, if not contempt, the institutions of foreign, if 
older, societies. Americans very generally suffer from 
the illusion that liberty was not discovered prior to 
1776, and that their country enjoys a monopoly of it. 
Even experienced and conservative editorial writers 
sometimes unconsciously fall victims to the provincial 
trait of decrying methods, procedures, and systems 
simply because they are not our own. Without, the 
writer believes, a single exception, the newspapers of 
the United States have indulged in torrents of bitter 
criticism at the manner in which the trial of the Ca- 
morra prisoners at Viterbo is being conducted, and 
have commonly compared the court itself to a "bear 
garden," a "circus," or a "cage of monkeys." Wher- 
ever the matter has been the subject of discussion or 
comment, the tone has been always the same, with 
the implied, if unexpressed, suggestion that if the prose- 
cution were being conducted here the world would see 
how quickly and effectively we would dispose of the 
case — and this with the memory of the Thaw and Pat- 

222 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

terson trials fresh in our minds. The following edi- 
torial from the New York Times, printed in March 
of this year, is by no means extreme as compared with 
the views expressed in other newspapers, and seems 
to indicate the popular impression of the manner in 
which this trial is being carried on : 

Our own methods of criminal procedure have long been the 
object of severe and just criticism, and in our exaggerated 
and insincere fear of convicting the innocent we have made 
the conviction of the guilty always difficult and often impos- 
sible. Quite unknown in our criminal courts, however, and 
fortunately, are such strange scenes as are presented daily 
at the trial of the Camorrists now going on in Italy. 

There the law is so little confident of its own powers that 
the accused are herded together in one steel cage, apparently 
with the idea of preventing attempts at rescue by a public 
largely sympathetic with organized robbery and assassination, 
while the witness for the prosecution is secluded in another 
cage, lest he be torn to pieces by the prisoners or their friends. 
The pleadings on each side seem to consist largely of denun- 
ciations and threats aimed at the other, tears of rage alternate 
with shrieks of the same origin, and order is only occasionally 
restored, when the din rises too high, by the curiously gentle 
expedient of suspending the session of the court. 

How justice is to be the outcome of proceedings such as 
these, and thus conducted, may be comprehensible to what is 
called — with little reason — ^the Latin mind, but others are 
lost in amazement. It is all highly interesting, no doubt, but 
one is no more likely to regret that we do not carry on our 
trials in this way than he is to be sorry that our criminals 
are not such important and powerful persons as the members 
of the Camorra seem to be. 

Only one fact stands out clearly at Viterbo — ^the fact that 
the attack on the banded brigands has been so long delayed 
that the authority of the law can not now be vindicated with- 
out producing a sort of civil war. Which ought to be humili- 
ating for somebody. 

223 



THE BUTLER^S STORY 

Only one conclusion could have been reached by 
the half million readers of this particular editorial, and 
that — ^the immense superiority of our own legal pro- 
cedure and method of handling criminal business over 
those of Italy. 

Yet (to examine the statements in this editorial 
seriatim) it is not true that scenes similar to those en- 
acted at Viterbo are unknown in our criminal courts; 
that the lack of confidence of the authorities in their 
own power is the cause of the prisoners being confined 
in court in a steel cage ; that the public is "largely sym- 
pathetic with organized robbery and assassination"; 
and that tears and shrieks of rage alternate to create 
a pandemonium which can be stilled only by adjourning 
court; and, while there is enough justification in fact 
to give color to such an editorial, the only extenuation 
for its exaggeration and the false impression it creates 
lies in the charitable view that the writer had an equally 
blind confidence in the sincerity of his resident Italian 
correspondent and in the latter's cabled accounts of 
what was going on. 

Unfortunately, the reporters at Viterbo have sent 
in only the most sensational accounts of the proceed- 
ings, since, unless their "stuff" is good copy, the ex- 
pense of collecting and cabling European news deprives 
it of a market. The press men at Viterbo have given 
the American editors just what they wanted. Such 

224 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

opportunities occur only once or twice in a lifetime, 
and they have fully availed themselves of it. 

Then, to the false and exaggerated cable of the cor- 
respondent the ''write-up man" lends his imagination; 
significant and important facts are omitted altogether, 
and the public is led to believe that an Italian criminal 
trial consists of a yelling bandit in a straitjacket, with 
a hysterical judge and frenzied lawyer abusing each 
other's character and ancestry. 

Let the writer state, at the outset, that he has never 
in his legal experience seen a judge presiding with 
greater courtesy, patience, fairness, or ability, or keep- 
ing, as a general rule, under all the circumstances, so 
perfect a control over his court, as the president of the 
assize in which the prosecution of the Camorra is 
being conducted ; nor is he familiar with any legal pro- 
cedure better fitted to ascertain the truth of the charges 
being tried. 

In studying the Camorra trial at Viterbo, or any 
other Italian or French criminal proceeding, the reader 
must bear in mind that there is a fundamental distinc- 
tion between them and our own, and that there are two 
great and theoretically entirely different systems of 
criminal procedure, one of which is the offspring of 
the Imperial Roman law and the other entirely Anglo- 
Saxon. One is the Roman or inquisitorial system, and 
the other the English or controversial. Under the for- 
mer the officers of the state are charged with the duty 

225 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

of ferreting out and punishing crime wherever found, 
and the means placed at their disposal are those likely 
to be most effective for the purpose. The theory of the 
latter is that, to some extent at least, a criminal trial is 
the result of a dispute between two persons, one the 
accuser and the other the accused, and that the proceed- 
ing savors of a private law-suit. Now, it is obvious 
that, in principle at least, the two systems differ mate- 
rially. In the one, the only thing originally considered 
was the best way to find out whether a criminal were 
guilty and to lock him up, irrespective of whether or 
not any private individual had brought an accusation 
against him. In the other, somebody had to make a 
complaint and **get his law" by going after it himself 
to a very considerable extent. 

The history of the development of these diverse theo- 
ries of criminal procedure is too involved to be dis- 
cussed here at any length, but inasmuch as the most 
natural way of ascertaining whether or not a person has 
been guilty of a crime is to question him about it, the 
leading feature of the Continental system is the "ques- 
tion," or inquisitorial nature of the proceedings, where- 
by the police authorities, who are burdened with the 
discovery and prosecution of crime, initiate the whole 
matter and bring the defendant and their witnesses 
before an examining magistrate in the first instance. 
The procureur (district attorney) in France and the 
procuratore del re in Italy represent the government and 

226 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

are part of the magistracy. They are actually quasi- 
judicial in their character, and their powers are infi- 
nitely greater than those of our own prosecutors, who 
occupy a rather anomalous position, akin in some ways 
to that of a procureur, and at the same time, under our 
controversial practice, acting as partisan attorneys for 
the people or the complainant. 

The fundamental proposition under the inquisitorial 
system is that the proceeding is the government's busi- 
ness, to be conducted by its officers by means of such 
investigations and interrogations as will most likely 
get at the truth. Obviously, the quickest and surest 
means of determining the guilt of a defendant is to put 
him through an exhaustive examination as soon as pos- 
sible after the crime, under such surroundings that, 
while his rights will be safeguarded, the information 
at his disposal will be elicited for the benefit of the 
public. The fact that in the past the Spanish Inquisition 
made use of the rack and wheel, or that to-day the 
"third degree" is freely availed of by the American 
police, argues nothing against the desirability of a 
public oral examination of a defendant in a criminal 
case. If he be given, under our law, the right to testify, 
why should he be privileged to remain silent? 

The Anglo-Saxon procedure, growing up at a time 
when death was the punishment for almost every sort 
of offence, and when torture was freely used to extort 
confessions of guilt, developed an extraordinary ten- 

227 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

derness for accused persons, which has to-day been so 
refined and extended by legislation in America that 
there is a strong feeling among lawyers (including ex- 
President Taft) that there is much in our practice 
which has outlived its usefulness, and that some ele- 
ments of Latin procedure, including the compulsory 
interrogation of defendants in criminal cases, have a 
good deal to recommend them. 

A French or Italian criminal trial, therefore, must 
be approached with the full understanding that it is a 
governmental investigation, free from many of the 
rules of evidence which Bentham said made the Eng- 
lish procedure ^'admirably adapted to the exclusion of 
the truth." The judge is charged with the duty of 
conducting the case. He does all the questioning. There 
is no such thing as cross-examination at all in our 
sense, that is to say, a partisan examination to show 
that the witness is a liar. The judge is there for the 
purpose of determining that question so far as he can, 
and the jury are not compelled to listen to days of 
monotonous interrogation during which the witness is 
obliged to repeat the same evidence over and over 
again, and testify as to the most minute details, under 
the dawdling of lawyers paid by the day, who not only 
"take time, but trespass upon eternity." 

Such a trial is conducted very much as if the judge 
were a private individual who had discovered that one 
of his employees had been guilty of a theft and was 

228 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

trying to ascertain the identity of the guilty party. 
Practically anything tending to shed light upon the 
matter is acceptable as evidence, and the suspected per- 
son is regarded as the most important witness that 
can be procured. Finally, and in natural course, comes 
the confronting of accuser and accused. 

Then fellow-servant on the one hand, or formal 
accuser upon the other, steps forward, and they go 
at it **hammer and tongs," revealing to their master, the 
public, or the jury, the very bottom of their souls ; for 
no man, least of all an Italian, can engage an antagonist 
in debate over the question of his own guilt without 
disclosing exactly what manner of man he is. 

With these preliminary considerations upon the 
fundamental distinction between the Latin and the 
Anglo-Saxon criminal procedure, and without dis- 
cussing which theory, on general principles, is best 
calculated to arrive at a definite and effective con- 
clusion as to the guilt of an accused, let us enter the 
ancient Church of San Francesco at Viterbo, and 
listen for l moment to the trial of the thirty-six 
members of the Neapolitan Camorra. 

It is a cool spring morning, and the small crowd 
which daily gathers to watch the arrival of the prison- 
ers in their black-covered wagons has dispersed; the 
guard of infantry has marched back to the Rocca, 
once the castle of the popes and now a barracks; 
and only a couple of carabinieri stand before the door, 

.229 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

their white-gloved hands clasped before their belts. 
Inside, in the extreme rear of the church, you find 
yourself in a small inclosure seating a couple of hun- 
dred people, and a foot or so lower than the level of 
the rest of the building. This is full of visitors from 
Rome, wives of lawyers, townspeople, and a scatter- 
ing of English and American motorists. A rail sep- 
arates this — the only provision for spectators — from 
the real court. (At the Thaw and Patterson trials 
the guests of the participants and officials swarmed 
all over the court-room, around and beside the jury- 
box, inside the rail at which the prisoners were seated, 
and occasionally even shared the dais with the judge.) 
We will assume that the proceedings have not yet 
begun, and that the advocates in their black gowns 
are chatting among themselves or conferring with 
their clients through the bars of the cage, which is 
built into the right-hand side of the church and com- 
pletely fills it. This cage, by the way, is an absolute 
necessity where large numbers of prisoners are tried 
together. The custom of isolating the defendant in 
some such fashion is not peculiar to Italy, but is in 
use in our own country as well; and if one attends z 
criminal trial in the city of Boston he will see the 
accused elevated in a kind of temporary cell in the 
middle of the court-room, and looking as if he were 
suspended in a sort of human bird-cage. Where, as 
in most jurisdictions of the United States, every de- 

230 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

fendant can demand a separate trial as of right (which 
he almost inevitably does demand), no inconvenience 
is to be anticipated from allowing him his temporary 
freedom while in the court-room in the custody of 
an officer. But there are many cases, where three 
or more defendants are tried together, when, even 
in New York City, there is considerable danger that 
the prisoners may seek the opportunity to carry out 
a vendetta against the witnesses or to revenge them- 
selves upon judge or prosecutor. There is much to 
be said in favor of isolating defendants in some such 
way, particularly where they are on trial for atro- 
cious crimes or are likely to prove insane. The Ca- 
morrists at Viterbo have already been incarcerated 
for over four years — one of them died in prison — 
and were they accessible in the court-room to their 
relatives or criminal associates and could thus pro- 
cure fire-arms or knives, there is no prophesying what 
the result might be to themselves or others. Certain 
it is that the chief witness, the informer Abbate- 
maggio, would have met a speedy death before any 
of his testimony had been given. 

On the opposite or left side of the church, in an 
elevated box, sit the jury, who keep their hats on 
throughtout the proceedings. They are respectable- 
looking citizens, rather more prepossessing than one 
of our own petit juries and slightly less so than twelve 
men drawn from one of the New York City special 

231 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

panels. At the end or apex of the church is a curved 
bench or dais with five seats. In the middle, under 
the dome, are four rows of desks, with chairs, at 
which sit the advocates, one or more for each 
prisoner. The only gallery, which is above and 
behind the jury-box, is given over to the press. At 
all the doors and the ends of the aisles, at each side 
of the judges' dais, and in front of the prisoners* 
cage stand carabinieri, in their picturesque uniforms 
and cocked hats with red and blue cockades, and a 
captain of carabinieri stands beside each witness as 
he gives his testimony. Thus the court, which is in 
the form of a cross, is naturally divided into four 
parts and a centre : in front the spectators, on the 
right the prisoners, on the left the jury, between 
them the lawyers, and at the end the judges and 
officers of the assize. A mellow light filters down 
from above, rather trying to the eyes. 

The Camorrists, heavily shackled, are brought in 
from a side entrance, each in custody of two carabi- 
nieri, their chains are removed, the prisoners are 
thrust behind the bars, and the guards step to one 
side and remain crowded around and behind the cage 
during the session. In a separate steel cage sits Ab- 
batemaggio, the informer, at an oblique distance of 
about five feet from the other prisoners. A guard 
stands between the two cages. If one meets a file of 
these prisoners in one of the corridors, he will be sur- 

232 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

prised, and perhaps embarrassed, to find that each, 
as he approaches, will raise his shackled hands to his 
head, remove his hat, and bow courteously, with a 
"Buon giorno" or ''Buoim sera/' While this may be 
one of the universal customs of a polite country, one 
cannot help feeling that it is partly due to an instinc- 
tive desire of the accused for recognition as human 
beings. All are scrupulously clean and dressed in the 
heights of Italian fashion. In fact, the Camorrists 
are much the best-dressed persons in the court-room, 
and the judicial officials, when off duty and in fustian, 
look a shade shabby by contrast. The funds of the 
Camorrists seem adequate both for obtaining wit- 
nesses and retaining lawyers; and the difference be- 
tween one's mental pictures of a lot of Neapolitan 
thieves and cutthroats and the apotheosized defend- 
ants on trial is at first somewhat startling. Looking 
at them across the court-room, they give the impres- 
sion of being exceptionally intelligent atid smartly 
dressed men — not unlike a section of the grandstand 
taken haphazard at a National League game. Closer 
scrutiny reveals the merciless lines in most of the 
faces, and the catlike shiftiness of the eyes. 

As for the lawyers, — the avvocati, — they seem very 
much like any group of American civil lawyers and 
distinctly superior to the practitioners in our criminal 
courts. Many are young and hope to win their 
spurs in this celebrated case. Others are old war- 

233 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

horses whose fortunes are tied up with those of the 
Camorra. At least one such, Awocato Lioy, is of 
necessity giving his services for nothing. But it is 
when the awocato rises to address the court that the 
distinction between him and his American brother be- 
comes obvious; for he is an expert speaker, trained 
in diction, enunciation, and deUvery, and rarely in 
our own country (save on the stage or in the pulpit) 
will one hear such uniform fluency and eloquence. 
Nor is the speech of the advocate less convincing for 
its excellence, for these young men put a fire and 
zeal into what they say that compel attention. 

Now, if the prisoners are all seated, the captain of 
carabinieri raps upon the floor with his scabbard, and 
the occupants of the room, prisoners, advocates, jury, 
and spectators, rise as the president, vice-president, 
prosecutor, vice-prosecutor, and cancelliere enter in 
their robes. The president makes a bow, the others 
bow a little, the lawyers bow, and everybody sits 
down — that is to say, everybody who has arisen; for 
Don Giro Vittozzi and "Professor" Rapi, who sit 
outside and in front of the cage (the "professor" has 
already been confined longer than any term to which 
he could be sentenced, and both have pleaded sick- 
ness as an excuse for leniency), make a point of show- 
ing their superiority to the vulgar herd by waiting 
until the last moment and then giving a partial but 
ineffectual motion as if to stand. 

234 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

The five men upon the dais are, however, worthy 
of considerable attention. The president, who oc- 
cupies the centre seat, is a stout, heavily built, "stocky" 
man with a brownish-gray beard. In his robes he 
is an imposing and dignified figure, in spite of his 
lack of height. All wear gowns with red and gold 
braid and tassels, and little round caps with red ''top- 
knots'* and gold bands. This last ornament is omit- 
ted from the uniform of the cancelliere, who is the 
official scribe or recorder of the court. And just 
here is noticeable a feature which tends to accelerate 
the proceedings, for there are no shorthand minutes 
of the testimony, and only a rough digest of what goes 
on is made. This is, for the most part, dictated by 
the president, under the correction of the advocates 
and the officers of the court, who courteously interrupt 
if the record appears to them inaccurate. If they 
raise no objection the record stands as given. Thus 
thousands of pages of generally useless matter are done 
away with, and the record remains more like the 
"notes" of a careful and painstaking English judge. 
Any particular bit of testimony or the gist of it can 
usually be found very quickly, without (as in our own 
courts of law) the stenographer having to wade 
through hundreds of pages of questions and answers 
before the matter wanted can be unearthed, buried, 
like as not, under an avalanche of objections, excep- 

235 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

tions, wrangles of counsel, and irrelevant or "stricken 
out" testimony. 

At the left of the semicircle sits the acting pro- 
curatore del re — another small man who, on the bench, 
makes a wonderfully dignified impression. He plays 
almost as important a part in the proceedings as the 
president himself, and is treated with almost equal 
consideration. This is Cavaliere Santaro, one of the 
most learned and eloquent lawyers in Italy. To hear 
him argue a point in his crisp, clean-cut, melodious 
voice is to realize how far superior Italian public 
speaking is to the kind of oratory prevalent in our 
courts, and national legislature, and on most public 
occasions throughout the United States. Beside both 
the president and the procuratore del re sits a "vice," 
or assistant, to each, to take his place when absent 
and to act as associate at other times. The cancelliere 
occupies the seat upon the right nearest the prisoners' 
cage. 

The president having taken his place, the first order 
of the day is the reading or revision of all or part 
of the record of the preceding session. This is done 
by the cancelliere who, from time to time, is inter- 
rupted by the lawyers, Abbatemagglo, or the prison- 
ers. These interruptions are usually to the point, and 
are quickly disposed of by the judge, although he 
may allow an argument thereon at some length from 
one of the advocates. The court then proceeds with 

236 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

the introduction of evidence, documentary or other- 
wise, the examination of the witnesses, or the con- 
fronting of the prisoners with their accusers. Now 
is immediately observable for the first time the char- 
acteristic of Italian criminal procedure •which has been 
so much misrepresented and has been the cause of such 
adverse criticism in the United States and England — 
namely, the constant interruption of the proceedings 
by argument or comment from the lawyers, and by 
remarks and contradictions from the prisoners and 
witnesses. These occasionally degenerate into alter- 
cations of a more or less personal nature; but they 
are generally stilled at a single word of caution from 
the judge, and serve to bring out and accentuate the 
different points at issue and to make clear the position 
of the different parties. When such interruptions oc- 
cur, the proceedings ordinarily resemble a joint dis- 
cussion going on among a fairly large gathering of 
people presided over by r. skilful moderator. 

A witness is testifying. In the middle of it (and 
"it" consists of not only what the witness has seen, 
but what he has been told and believes) one of the 
prisoners rises and cries out : 

"That is not so! He is a liar! Abbatemaggio 
swore thus and so." 

"Nothing of the kind!" retorts the witness im- 
patiently. 

"Yes! Yes!" or "No! No!" chime in the advocates. 
237 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

"Excellency! Excellency!" exclaims Abbatemaggio 
himself, jumping to his feet in his cage. 'T said in 
my testimony that Cuocolo did accuse Erricone," etc. 
And he goes on for two or three minutes, explaining 
just what he did or did not say or mean, while the 
president listens until he has had sufficient enlighten- 
ment, and stops him with a sharp "Basta!'* 
("Enough!"). 

The incident (whatever its nature) usually tends 
to elucidate the matter, and while to an outsider, es- 
pecially one not familiar with Italian dialects, the 
effect may be one of temporary confusion, it is never- 
theless not as disorderly as it seems, and the president 
rarely (so far as the writer could see during many 
days of observation) loses complete command of his 
court, or permits any one to go on talking unless for 
a clear and useful purpose. At times, when every- 
body seemed to be talking at once, and several law- 
yers, Abbatemaggio, and one or two prisoners were 
on their feet together, his handling of the situation 
was little short of marvellous, for he would almost 
simultaneously silence one with a sharp "S-s-s!" 
shake his head at another, direct a third to sit down, 
and listen to a fourth until he stilled him with a well- 
directed ^'Basta!" When the shouting is over, one 
usually finds that who is the liar has been pretty clearly 
demonstrated. 

In this connection, however, it should be said that 

238 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

the writer was perhaps fortunate (or unfortunate, as 
the reader may prefer) in not being present on those 
days when the scenes of greatest excitement and con- 
fusion occurred. Several times, it is true, President 
Bianchi has preferred to adjourn court entirely on 
account of the uproar, rather than take extreme 
measures against individual defendants or witnesses. 
Thus, during the entire conduct of the case and in spite 
of the grossest provocation, he has ordered the forcible 
removal of only three defendants — that of Morro on 
June 21, 191 1, and of Alfano and Abbatemaggio on 
July 21, 191 1. On several other occasions he has 
adopted the more gentle expedient of adjourning the 
proceedings and clearing the court, and this has re- 
sulted in a certain amount of criticism from the Italian 
bar, which otherwise regards his presiding as a model 
of efficiency. The only adverse comment that the 
writer has heard in Italy, either of the president or the 
pro curat ore del re, is that both are somewhat lenient 
toward the conduct of the prisoners and their advo- 
cates, and lack strength in dealing with exigencies 
of the character just described. In the long run, how- 
ever, if such criticism be just, such an attitude is bound 
to be in favor of justice, and will irresistibly convince 
the public and the world at large that this is no attempt 
on the part of the government to "railroad" a lot of 
suspected undesirables at any cost, whatever the 
evidence may be. 

239 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Before commenting too harshly upon this mote tn 
the eye of Italian procedure, it may not be unwise to 
consider whether any similar beam exists in our own. 
Certainly there is a deal of interruption, contradic- 
tion, and disputation in our own criminal courts which 
sometimes is not only undignified, but frequently ends 
in an unseemly dispute between judge and lawyers. 
Contempt of court is very general in the United States, 
and we have practically no means for punishing it. 
Moreover, these scenes in our own courts do not usually 
assist in getting at the truth. With us, once a witness 
has spoken and his testimony has become a matter of 
record, whether he has said what he meant to say or 
not (under the complicated questions put in examina- 
tion and cross-examination), or whether or not he 
has succeeded in giving an accurate impression of what 
he saw or knows, he is hustled out of the way and 
made to keep silence. He has little, if any, chance to 
explain or annotate his testimony. A defendant may 
go to jail or be turned loose on the community because 
the witness really didn't get a chance to tell his own 
story in his own way. Now, the witness's own story 
in precisely his own way is just what they are looking 
for under the inquisitorial procedure, and if he is mis- 
interpreted they want to know it. The process may 
take longer, but it makes for getting at the truth, and 
the Italians regard a criminal trial as of even more 
importance than do some of our judges, who often 

240 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

seem more anxious to get through a record-breaking 
calendar and "dispose of" a huge batch of cases than 
to get at the exact facts in any particular one. There is 
nothing "hit or miss" about the Continental method. 
Whatever its shortcomings, whatever its limitations 
to the cold Anglo-Saxon mind, it brings out all the 
details and the witness's reasons. At an Italian trial 
a witness might testify (and his evidence be consid- 
ered as important) that he heard sounds of a scuffle 
and a man's voice exclaim, "You have stabbed me, 
Adolfo!" that somebody darted across the street and 
into an alley, that an old woman whom he identifies 
in court as the deceased's mother, and who was 
standing beside him, cried out, "That is my son's 
voice!" and that three or four persons came running 
up from several different locations, each of whom 
described, circumstantially and independently, a 
murder which he had seen perpetrated, identifying 
the assassin by name. 

In America it is doubtful whether in most jurisdic- 
tions the witness would be permitted to testify to 
anything except that he heard a scuffle, saw a man 
rim away, and that an old woman and several other 
people thereupon said something. 

It must not be supposed that the trial of the Camorra 
is being conducted with the calm of a New England 
Sabbath service; but the writer wishes to emphasize 
the fact that the confusion, such as it is, serves a cer- 

241 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

tain purpose, and that the yellings and heartrending 
outcries described by the newspaper correspondents 
are only occasional and much exaggerated — except in 
so far as they might occur at an Italian trial in Amer- 
ica. Any one who has been present at many murder 
trials in New York knows that outbreaks on the part 
of Italian prisoners are to be anticipated and are fre- 
quent if not customary. The writer recalls more than 
one case where the defendant shrieked and rolled on 
the floor, clutching at the legs of tables, chairs, and 
officers, until dragged by main force from the court- 
room. And at Viterbo they are trying thirty-six 
Italians at the same time; and every person participat- 
ing in or connected with the affair is an Italian, sharing 
in the excitability and emotional temperament of his 
fellows. 

A noteworthy feature of this particular prosecution 
is that (due doubtless to the strength and ability of 
the presiding judge), in spite of all interruptions and 
the freedom of discussion, the taking of evidence pro- 
ceeds with a rapidity greater than in America, for the 
reason that there are no objections or exceptions, or 
attendant argument, and, above all, no cross-examina- 
tion, except such questions as are put by the judge 
himself at the request of the advocates. 

Finally, the system of the con fr onto, or confronting 
of the accused by his accuser, deserves a word of com- 
mendation, for no method could possibly be devised 

242 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

whereby the real character and comparative truthful- 
ness of each would be so readily disclosed. The de- 
fendant is given on this occasion free scope to cross- 
examine the witness and deny or refute what he says, 
and it takes ordinarily but a few minutes before the 
mask is torn aside and each pictures himself in his true 
colors. Our procedure tends to deprive the witnesses 
of personality and to reduce them all to a row of 
preternaturally solemn and formal puppets. It is prob- 
ably true that in most criminal cases in America the 
defendant is convicted or acquitted without the jury 
having any very clear idea of what sort of person he 
really is. On the day of his trial the prisoner makes 
a careful toilet, is cleanly shaved, and dons a new suit 
of clothes and fresh linen. The chances are that, as 
he sits at the bar of justice, he will make at least as 
good and very possibly a more favorable impression 
upon the jury than the witnesses against him, who 
have far less at stake than he. Each takes the stand 
and is sworn to tell the truth, so far as they will be 
permitted to do so under our rules of evidence. Then the 
district attorney proceeds to try to extract their story 
of the crime under a storm of objections, exceptions, 
and hasty rulings from the judge. Then the prisoner's 
lawyer (who can take all the liberties he wants, as the 
State has no appeal in case of an acquittal) proceeds 
to mix things up generally by an unfair and confusing 
cross-examination. At last the defendant is called, and 

243 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

marches to the stand, looking like an early Christian 
martyr. He is carefully interrogated by his lawyer, 
who permits him (if he be wise) to do nothing but 
deny the salient facts against him. The district attor- 
ney, to be sure, has the right of cross-examination, but 
a skilful criminal lawyer has plenty of opportunities 
to **nurse" his client along and guide him over pit- 
falls; and when all is over the jury have formed no 
valuable or accurate impression of the defendant's real 
character and personality — whether or not, in other 
words, he is the kind of man who would have done 
such a thing. 

In Italy (to use vulgar English) they "sic" them 
at each other and let them fight it out, and while the 
language of the participants is often not parliamentary, 
the knowledge that they are being watched by the 
judge and jury has a restraining effect, and the pres- 
ence of the carabinieri makes violence no more likely 
than in our own courts. Occasionally, in America, 
where a prisoner insists on conducting his own de- 
fence, a similar scene may be witnessed — ^always, it 
may be affirmed, to the enlightenment of the jury. On 
the other hand, most confrontations are attended with 
few sensational incidents or emotional outbreaks. 

The writer was fortunate enough to be present 
when ^Trofessor" Rapi was confronted by Gennaro 
Abbatemaggio, and, to his surprise, found that the 
proceeding, instead of being interspersed with yells of 

244 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

rage and vehement invocations to Heaven, closely re- 
sembled a somewhat personal argument between two 
highly intelligent and deeply interested men of affairs. 
Whatever may be Rapi's real character (and he is said 
to supply a large part of the brains of the Camorra, 
as well as handling all its funds), he is, as he stands 
up in court, a fine-looking, elegantly dressed man, 
of polished manners and speech. If the evidence 
against him is to be believed, however, his mask of 
gentility covers a heart of mediaeval cruelty and cun- 
ning, for he is alleged to have made the plans and 
given the final directions to Sortino for the murder of 
the Cuocolos. Rapi is a celebrated gambler, and as 
such may have had the acquaintance of some decadent 
members of the Italian aristocracy, who not only knew 
him in the betting ring at the races, but frequented 
his establishment in Naples, which he called the ''South- 
em Italy Club." In 1875, at the age of eighteen, he 
won against four hundred candidates the position of 
instructor in classical languages in the municipality 
of Naples. Some ten years later, in 1884, he moved 
with his parents to France. At this time he was sus- 
pected of having something to do with the murder of 
a Camorrist youth, named Giacomo Pasquino, who, in 
fact, was killed in a duel with a fellow member of the 
society. 

From that time on Rapi became a professional gam- 
bler, and as such was expelled from France in 1902. 

245 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

Later he returned to Naples and opened a sort of 
"Canfield's'' there. At any rate, he boasts that it was 
the centre of attraction for dukes and princes. That 
he had any sort of acquaintance with or admission to 
aristocratic circles is entirely untrue; but he certainly 
was a figure in the fast life of the town, and used 
what position he had to further the ends of the Cam- 
orra. It is alleged that he was the actual treasurer of 
the Camorra, and disbursed the funds of its central 
organization, apportioning the proceeds of robberies 
and burglaries among the participants, and acting as 
head receiver for all stolen goods. Certainly he was 
a friend of ''Erricone" and an associate of well-known 
Camorrists, and he was one of the five arrested imme- 
diately after the Cuocolo murders on suspicion of com- 
plicity, because of his known presence on the night of 
the crime at Torre del Greco, not far from the place 
where the murder of Gennaro Cuocolo was perpetrated. 
For fifty- two days he remained in prison, and was 
then set at liberty through the efforts of Father Ciro 
Vittozzi. He continued to reside in Naples until April, 
1908, when the French decree against him was can- 
celled and he returned to Paris, after holding a sort of 
informal levee at the Naples railroad station, where 
many persons of local distinction, journalists, and 
others came to see him off. It was in the following 
June that he says he read in a Paris paper that his 
departure from Naples was regarded as a flight. He 

246 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

wired to the procuratore del re at Naples, offering to 
place himself absolutely at the disposition of the 
authorities ; but, receiving no response, he returned by 
train to Naples to present himself before the magis- 
trates. He was promptly arrested en route, and for 
four years has been in jail, being questioned by the 
authorities on only three occasions during that period. 
He claims that at the time of the murder he was living 
in England, and his elaborate alibi is supported by a 
number of witnesses whose testimony is more or less 
relevant. 

Without dilating on the individual history of this 
sleek gentleman, be he merely gambler or full-edged 
accomplice in many murders, it is enough to say that 
when confronted by Abbatemaggio he conducted him- 
self with the most suave and courteous moderation. 
Alternately he would politely engage the informer in 
argument or ask him a question or two, and then in 
polished sentences would address the jury and specta- 
tors. 

He is the antithesis of Abbatemaggio, who has an 
insolent confidence and braggadocio about him that 
carry with them a certain first-hand impression of 
sincerity. In fact, the fiery little black-haired coachman 
has proved so convincing to the public that the Cam- 
orrists have been driven to allege that he is mad. He 
gives no indication of madness, however, although the 
government, to refute any such contention, has an 

247 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

alienist, Professor Otto Lenghi, in court to keep him 
under constant surveillance. His memory is astonish- 
ing and uncannily accurate. His mind works with 
marvellous rapidity, and had he been born in a different 
environment he would have made his mark in almost 
any line that he might have chosen. He has all the 
instincts and tricks of the actor, is a master of repartee, 
extremely witty, with a tongue like a razor, and de- 
lights the spectators with his sallies and impertinences. 
Altogether Abbatemaggio is the centre of attraction at 
Viterbo — and knows it. He makes the court wait on 
his health and convenience, and has evidently made 
up his mind that, if his Hfe is to be short, he will at 
least make it as merry as possible. Naturally he is a 
sort of popular idol, and a confronto in which he is 
one of the participants draws a crowd of the towns- 
people, who applaud his gibes and epigrams and jeer 
at his Camorrist opponent. 

On the afternoon of the Rapi- Abbatemaggio con- 
fronto the ^'Professor" arose with great dignity, 
bowed low to the court and jury, folded his hands 
over his stomach, and faced the audience with an air 
of patient resignation. Then the captain of carabi- 
nieri unlocked Abbatemaggio's cage, and the little 
coachman sprang to his feet, gave a twirl to his mous- 
tache and a contemptuous glance at Rapi as if to say, 
"Look at the old faker! See how I shall show him 
up!" 

248 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

With an attitude respectful toward the court and 
scornful toward Rapi, he takes his stand by the pro- 
curatore del re and awaits his antagonist's attack. The 
"Professor" accosts him gently, almost pathetically. 
Abbatemaggio answers in cold, unsympathetic tones 
that tell the spectators that they must not be deceived 
by the oily address of this arch-conspirator. But Rapi, 
with his magnificent voice, is a foe to be reckoned 
with, and presently he enters upon a denunciation of 
the informer that is distinctly eloquent and full of 
vehement sarcasm. Abbatemaggio flushes and inter- 
rupts him, the "Professor" attempts to proceed, but 
the little coachman sweeps him out of the way and 
pours forth a rapid-fire volley of Neapolitan dialect in 
which he accuses Rapi of being a hypocrite and a liar 
and a man who lives on the criminality of others, re- 
ferring specifically to various enterprises in which they 
have both been engaged as partners. He pauses for 
breath, and Rapi plunges in, contradicting, denouncing, 
and accusing in turn. The prisoners by inter jectory 
exclamations show their approval. 

"Sh-sh-sh!" remarks il presidente, raising a finger. 

"Excellency! Excellency!" exclaims Abbatemaggio 
deprecatingly, as if pained that the judge should be 
compelled to listen to such an outburst. 

Presently he can restrain himself no longer, and 
both he and Rapi begin simultaneously to harangue the 
court, until the president orders Abbatemaggio to stop 

249 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

and the captain of carabinieri touches Rapi on the 
shoulder. The latter is now reduced to tears and 
wrings his hands as he calls his aged mother to witness 
that he is an innocent man! Soon order is restored, 
and the confronto concludes with a sort of summing 
up of his defence on the part of the "Professor." It 
is a model of rhetoric, rather too carefully calculated 
to appear as sincere as his previous outbursts. He 
calls down the curses of God upon Abbatemaggio, 
who listens contemptuously; he protests the purity of 
his life and motives; he weeps at the irony of fate that 
keeps him — the merest object of suspicion — confined 
in a loathsome prison. Then he bows and resumes his 
seat by the side of Father Giro VittozzI, to whom, amid 
the laughter of the spectators, he has referred as "that 
holy man there." And, apart from the argument be- 
tween him and Abbatemaggio, there has really been no 
more denunciation, nor more emotion, nor more tears, 
than if an ordinary criminal attorney in a New York 
Gity court were summing up an important case. 

Gourt adjourns. No sooner has the judge departed 
than an outcry is heard from the cage. 

"I am tired — tired — tired!" exclaims an agonized 
voice. "I have been in prison for five years ! Every- 
body else talks and I have to listen. I am not allowed 
to speak, and nothing ever happens! It is intermin- 
able! I cannot stand it!" 

It is "Erricone" having one of his periodical mo- 

250 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

merits of relief. After all, one is not inclined to blame 
him very much, for there is a good deal of truth in 
what he says — owing to the way the case was bungled 
in its earlier stages. The carabinieri rush up, "Erri- 
cone" is pacified by his fellow Camorrists, and quiet 
is restored. One inquires if there is generally any 
more excitement than has just occurred, and is told 
that it has been quite a sensational day, but then — 
that ''Erricone" is always "yelling." A good many 
defendants make a noise and carry on — ^and so do their 
relatives — after court has adjourned, in America. 

One is in doubt whether to believe Abbatemaggio 
on the one hand or Rapi on the other, and ends by con- 
cluding that it would be utterly impossible to believe 
either. Both were acting, both playing to the gallery. 
You know Rapi is a crook, and — well you wouldn't 
trust Abbatemaggio, either, around the corner. And, 
after all, it is the word of the one against that of the 
other so far as any particular defendant is concerned. 
But one fixed impression remains — that of the aplomb, 
intelligence, and cleverness of these men, and the 
danger to a society in which they and their associates 
follow crime as a profession. Once more you study 
the faces of the well-dressed prisoners in the cage, of 
the four alleged assassins of Cuocolo— Morra, Sortino, 
de Gennaro, and Cerrato; of Giuseppe Salvi, the mur- 
derer of Maria Cutinelli; of Luigi Fucci, the dummy 
head of the Camorra of "Erricone" Alfano, the 

251 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

wolfish supreme chief and dictator of the society; of 
Luigi Arena, the captain of the Neapolitan burglars; 
of that mediaeval rascal, "Father" Giro Vittozzi, the 
most picturesque figure of the lot'; of Desiderio, head 
of petty blackmailing and tribute-levying industry; of 
Maria Stendardo, whose house was a Camorrist hell; 
and of Rapi, the gambling "professor" and "Moriarty" 
of Naples — and you know instinctively that, whether 
as an abstract proposition Abbatemaggio conveys an 
impression of absolute honesty or not, what he has 
said is true and that this is the Camorra — the real 
Camorra, vile, heartless, treacherous! 

Then, if you were asked to give your impressions 
of the way the trial was being carried on, you would 
probably say that, considering the magnitude of the 
task involved, the mass of evidence (there are forty 
volumes of the preliminary examinations), the great 
number of prisoners and the multitude of witnesses, 
and the latitude allowed under the Italian law in the 
matter of taking testimony, the trial was being con- 
ducted considerably faster than would be probable In 
America under like conditions; that the methods fol- 
lowed are admirably calculated to ascertain the truth 
or falsity of the charges ; that the judge presides with 
extreme fairness, courtesy, and ability ; that, all things 
considered, there is, as a rule, less confusion or dis- 
order than would be naturally expected — that, in a 

252 



AN AMERICAN LAWYER AT VITERBO 

word, the Italian government is making a good job 
of it, and deserves to be congratulated. 

Indeed, so far as the procedure is concerned, it is 
not so very diffierent from our own, and, were it not 
for the presence of the uniforms of the carabinieri 
and the officers of infantry in the court-room, and the 
huge cage in which the prisoners are confined, one 
could easily imagine one's self in a court in America. 
The conduct of the trial is far more free, far less 
formal, than with us — a fact which, the writer believes, 
makes in the end for effectiveness, although the excita- 
bility of the Italian temperament occasionally creates 
something of an uproar, which calls for a suspension 
of proceedings. Doubtless the prisoners give vent to 
cries of rage and humiliation; perhaps one or two of 
them in the course of the trial may faint or have fits 
(such things happen with us) ; the judge and lawyers 
may squabble, and accuser and accused roundly curse 
3ach other. Such things could hardly help occurring 
in a trial lasting, perhaps, a year. In fact, deaths and 
births have occurred among them during this period, 
for Giro Alfano has passed away and Maria Stendardo 
has given birth to a child; but, on the whole, there is 
probably no more excitement, no more confusion, no 
more bombast, and vastly less sensationalism than if 
thirty-six members of the Black Hand were being tried 
en masse in one of our own criminal courts for a double 

253 



THE BUTLER'S STORY 

murder, involving the existence of a criminal society 
whose ramifications extended into the national legisla- 
ture and whose affiliations embraced the leaders of a 
local political organization and many officials and 
members of the New York police. 



254 



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